The Independent

January 5, 2012

The head of Libya’s interim government warned yesterday that the country could descend into civil war after rival militias fought gun battles in the centre of the capital, Tripoli, leaving a trail of dead and injured.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil spoke of the dangers posed by continuous lawlessness of private armies while the draft regulations for the first parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year were being published.

But the rules were immediately attacked with claims that they risk creating upheavals of the type triggered by the “De-Baathification” programme introduced in post-Saddam Iraq by the US envoy Paul Bremer. Some of the thousands, with links to the former regime, who were sidelined as a result took up arms and joined the insurgency that still continues.

The terms proposed in Libya by the National Transitional Council (NTC) for candidates would automatically bar not only those associated with the Gaddafi regime, but even anyone who received an academic qualification based on the late dictator’s political treatise, The Green Book. Those holding dual nationality would also be disqualified unless they abandoned their second passport.

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