Libya drops bar on religious and ethnic parties

AL JAZEERA

Libya has dropped a ban against political parties based on religion, tribe or ethnicity, an official said, after the law angered Islamist parties in the run-up to the first free election in June.

Abdel Jalil of the NTC

The ruling National Transitional Council’s judicial committee read out on Wednesday a set of new laws, including an amended version of one governing formation of parties, making no mention of the ban, which was announced last week.

“This point has been dropped and so any party or political organisation will follow the law as it is now,” Salwa Al-Dgheily, a member of the NTC judicial council, told Reuters news agency after an NTC meeting.

Libyans vote in June to elect a national assembly for the first time since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Eighty of the 200 seats will go to political parties, with the rest reserved for independent candidates.

Strong performance

Last week the NTC said it had passed a law banning parties based on religious, tribal or ethnic lines. A new Islamist party viewed as a leading contender intimated that it would challenge the decision.

Islamists have performed strongly in post-uprising elections in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco and they are also likely to do well in Libya, a socially conservative country.  Read more..

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