Libya’s Transition to Transition

Although Libyans are now celebrating the first anniversary of the revolution that toppled Muammar el-Qaddafi, they are increasingly frustrated with the interim government's failure to purge and prosecute senior Qaddafi officials, and to rein in the militias that overthrew his regime. Those tasks will await the government that emerges from elections in June.

SIRTE, LIBYA – Although Libyans are now celebrating the first anniversary of the revolution that toppled Muammar el-Qaddafi, they are increasingly frustrated with their new leaders. Libyans complain that the interim government, known as the National Transitional Council (NTC), has not moved quickly enough to purge and prosecute senior Qaddafi officials, or to rein in the militias that overthrew his regime.

Though the NTC is dedicated to implementing Libyans’ demands, it lacks the technical capacity and time necessary to do so before the elections tentatively scheduled for this coming summer. Facing such constraints, it must concentrate on a small number of important initiatives, before turning power over to an elected government.

Political experience has never been a prerequisite for NTC membership. One representative was named to the Council because he defected with his MIG fighter plane 20 years ago. Other members were previously political prisoners or exiled dissidents.

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