Libya's parliament passed a law banning senior officials who held positions under Muammar Gaddafi from working for the new administration. The implications for the current prime minister, who was a diplomat under Gaddafi before joining the opposition, are unclear.Enlarge
Libya's parliament?passed a law on Sunday banning anyone who held a senior position during Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule from working for the new administration, a move that could force the prime minister to step down.Skip to next paragraph
google_ads.line2 + '
' + google_ads.line3 + '
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Prime minister Ali Zeidan was a diplomat before defecting and joining the opposition in 1980, but the wording of the new law has not made it clear whether or not he was senior enough to be barred from the new government.
"I don't know, the wording is quite unclear," said a source within the prime minister's office when asked whether Zeidan would have to step down. It would depend on how the law was implemented, he said.
Tripoli's skies erupted with gunfire in celebration after the vote and the main square filled with supporters of the legislation.
The wording has been wrangled over for months and Sunday's vote has been prompted by the actions of heavily armed groups who have taken control of two government ministries and say they will not leave until the legislation is passed.
"It's a very unfair and extreme law, but we need to put national interests first in order to solve the crisis," said?Tawfiq Breik, spokesman for the liberal?National Forces Alliance?(NFA) bloc.
More than a dozen vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft weapons and machine guns remained parked outside the Justice Ministry on Sunday, and the?Foreign Ministry?has been similarly encircled for the past week.
One of the men stationed in front of the?Justice Ministry, who said the group came from different areas close to the capital?Tripoli, said they would not leave until the prime minister had been forced from office.