General National Congress
This article is about the former Libyan national legislature. For other National Congresses (legislatures), see National Congress (disambiguation).
The General National Congress or General National Council[7] (GNC; Arabic: المؤتمر الوطني العام‎‎, Berber: Agraw Amuran Amatay) was the legislative authority of Libya for two years following the end of the First Libyan Civil War. It was elected by popular vote on 7 July 2012, and took power from the National Transitional Council on 8 August.[1][2][8]
General National Congress
المؤتمر الوطني العام
Agraw Amuran Amatay
ⴰⴳⵔⴰⵡ ⴰⵎⵓⵔⴰⵏ ⴰⵎⴰⵜⴰⵢ
Founded8 August 2012[1][2]
25 August 2014
Disbanded4 August 2014
1 April 2016
Preceded byNational Transitional Council
Succeeded byHouse of Representatives
High Council of State
Deputy presidents
First Deputy:
Second Deputy:
Saleh Essaleh[5]
Political groups
 National Forces Alliance (39)
 Independents (120)[6]
Parallel voting; 80 seats through party-list proportional representation and 120 seats through multiple-member districts
Last election
7 July 2012
Meeting place
Al Nasr Convention Centre
Tripoli, Libya
Tasked primarily with transitioning Libya to a permanent democratic constitution, it was given an 18-month deadline to fulfil this goal. When the deadline passed with work on the new constitution only just getting underway, Congress was forced to organise elections to a new House of Representatives, which took power and replaced it on 4 August 2014.[9][10][11]
A non-reelected minority of former GNC members, supported by the LROR and Central Shield armed groups, met on 25 August 2014 and declared a National Salvation Government. They elected Omar al-Hasi as prime minister.[12] From August 2014, GNC is no longer internationally recognized as the legitimate parliament of Libya.
On 1 April 2016, the GNC announced its own dissolution and has been replaced by the High Council of State.
In a ceremony on 8 August 2012, the National Transitional Council formally transferred power to the General National Congress. Mustafa Abdul Jalil stepped down as head of state, passing the position to the GNC's oldest member, Mohammed Ali Salim.[13] The NTC was then dissolved, while the GNC members took their oaths of office, led by Salim.[14]
Hundreds of people gathered in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square with candles symbolizing reconciliation.[13] The date of the transfer – 20 Ramadan on the Islamic calendar – had also been selected for symbolic reasons; as 20 Ramadan the previous year had fallen on 20 August, the date that the National Liberation Army attacked Tripoli, leading to Gaddafi's flight.[14] As Jalil addressed the crowd, attendees periodically chanted "Allāhu Akbar" or "The blood of the martyrs will not be wasted!"[15]
According to BBC News, the transfer was "the first peaceful transition of power in Libya's modern history".[13]
Post-2014 elections
In 2014 elections to a new House of Representatives were held. However, politicians from the blocs that lost the elections continued to convene as the General National Congress, claiming that the GNC is the legitimate parliament of Libya. However, its members do not represent a majority of the membership of the body,[16] as the majority of the GNC members belonged to groups now participating in the internationally recognized (until the establishment of an internationally-backed Government of National Accord in 2016) Libyan parliament, the House of Representatives. The GNC is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood's Libyan party, the Justice and Construction Party.
Re-elected members from the Islamist bloc had chosen to continue to sit in the GNC, instead of the House of Representatives where they would be in a reduced minority.[17][18]
After their landslide defeat in the 2014 elections, Islamist parties acting under the leadership of Nouri Abusahmain used two armed groups, the LROR and Central Shield, to take control of the capital Tripoli. In late August, Islamist militias abducted rivals (whose whereabouts is unknown) and attacked 280 homes. Having suppressed dissent, the Islamist groups declared that they were the General National Congress and that it was once again the national parliament.
The GNC continued to be led by Nouri Abusahmain and appointed Omar al-Hasi then Khalifa al-Ghawi as prime ministers of the National Salvation Government.[19]
Members of the House of Representatives and the General National Congress signed a United Nations supported political agreement on 17 December 2015.[20] Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council and a seventeen-member interim Government of National Accord would be formed, with a view to holding new elections within two years.[20] The House of Representatives would continue to exist as a legislature and an advisory body, to be known as the State Council, will be formed with members nominated by the New General National Congress.[21]
The Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, arrived in Tripoli on 30 March 2016.[22] The following day, it was reported that the GNA has taken control of the prime ministerial offices and that the GNC appointed Prime Minister Khalifa al-Ghawi had fled to Misrata.[23] On 1 April 2016, the head of the media bureau of the National Salvation Government announced that the NSG has resigned and handed its authority back to the General National Congress.[24] Media reports have also claimed that the General National Congress had "virtually disintegrated".[25]
On April 5, the National Salvation Government of the General National Congress announced that it was resigning, "ceasing operations" and ceding power to the Presidential Council.[26][27] Following the dissolution of the GNC, former members of that body declared the establishment of the State Council, as envisaged by the LPA.[26]
Main article: Libyan parliamentary election, 2012
The General National Congress was composed of 200 members of which 80 were elected through a party list system of proportional representation, and 120 were elected as independents in multiple-member districts.[28][29]
It is estimated that 25 independents were associated with the NFA, 17 with Justice and Construction, and 23 were Salafis.[30]
Following the 2012 elections, an Integrity Commission was set up to exclude and remove Gaddafi-era officials from politics. The commission removed 15 members of the GNC.[31] Independent members from Bayda, Baten al-Jabal, Abu Salim, Hay al-Andalus, Sabha, Tarhuna and Ubari were expelled, along with all the independents from Ghat and Bani Walid, two representatives of local lists from Ubari and Wadi al-Shate’, and two NFA deputies from Zliten and Abu Salim. By March 2013 one expelled member from Bayda had been replaced; all other seats remained vacant.[30]
The Congress was tasked with electing a new Prime Minister and governing cabinet. Among the rules approved by the GNC on the election of the Prime Minister was a prohibition on Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers being GNC members simultaneously.[32]
The Congress selected Mustafa Abushagur as Prime Minister on 12 September 2012,[33] he subsequently resigned after failing to get a cabinet approved. On 14 October 2012, the General National Congress elected former GNC member and human rights lawyer Ali Zeidan as prime minister-designate.[34] Zeidan was sworn in after his cabinet was approved by the GNC.[35][36]
Seats by party
National Forces Alliance714,76948.1439039
Justice and Construction Party152,44110.2717017
National Front60,5924.08303
Union for Homeland66,7724.50202
National Centrist Party59,4174.00202
Wadi Al-Hayah Party6,9470.47202
Moderate Ummah Assembly21,8251.47101
Authenticity and Renewal18,7451.26101
National Party For Development and Welfare17,1581.16101
Al-Hekma (Wisdom) Party17,1291.15101
Authenticity and Progress13,6790.92101
Libyan National Democratic Party13,0920.88101
National Parties Alliance12,7350.86101
Ar-Resalah (The Message)7,8600.53101
Centrist Youth Party7,3190.49101
Libya Al-'Amal (Libya – The Hope)6,0930.41101
Labaika National Party3,4720.23101
Libyan Party for Liberty and Development2,6910.18101
Arrakeeza (The Foundation)1,5250.10101
Nation and Prosperity1,4000.09101
National Party of Wadi ash-Shati'1,3550.09101
Homeland Party51,2923.45000
Other parties218,56214.72000
Invalid/blank votes280,117
Registered voters/turnout2,865,93761.58
Sources: Libya Herald, POMED, HNEC
On 9 August 2012, Congress members voted in a televised meeting for a president for the GNC. Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, leader of the National Front Party, won with 113 votes versus independent Ali Zeidan who secured 85 votes.[37] From 1981 until 2011, el-Magariaf was exiled from Libya,[38] and led the NFP's predecessor organisation—called the National Front for the Salvation of Libya—for almost 20 years.[38]
The permanent location of Libya's legislature has not yet been decided, but it has been proposed that a new parliament building could be built within the former Bab al-Azizia compound.[39] As an interim measure, the General National Congress convened in the Al Nasr Convention Centre close to the Rixos Al Nasr hotel in Tripoli. Libya's former legislature, the General People's Congress, met at the People's Hall which had been destroyed by fire during the Libyan Civil War.[40]
  1. ^ a b Michel Cousins (24 July 2012). "National Congress to meet on 8 August: NTC". Libya Herald. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "NTC to Transfer Power to Newly-Elected Libyan Assembly August 8". Tripoli Post. 2 August 2012. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  3. ^ Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain elected Congress President Archived 2014-10-02 at the Wayback Machine, Libya Herald, 25 June 2013.
  4. ^ Congress fills First Deputy President slot after five months Archived 2017-08-27 at the Wayback Machine, Libya Herald, 24 November 2013.
  5. ^ National Congress elects two vice presidents, Libya Herald, 10 August 2012.
  6. ^ National Forces Alliance sweeps party lists as election results finally announced, Libya Herald, 17 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Libya — Majlis Al-Nuwaab (House of Representatives)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2017-02-21. Archived from the original on 2019-05-18. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  8. ^ Esam Mohamed (8 August 2012). "Libya's transitional rulers hand over power". Boston.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 8 December 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Congress ends in silence". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Libya power handover agreed as airport battle rages on". AFP. 24 July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Congress votes to replace itself with new House of Representatives". Libya Herald. 30 March 2014. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Former Libyan parliament reconvenes, elects Islamist premier". Al Akhbar English. 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "Libya's NTC hands power to newly elected assembly". BBC News. 8 August 2012. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Ali Shuaib (8 August 2012). "Libya's ruling council hands over power to new assembly". Reuters. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Libya's transitional council hands over power". CNN. 8 August 2012. Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Abu Sahmain, Ghariani condemned by Thinni and parliament leader Saleh". Libya Herald. 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 23 May 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  17. ^ "National Congress party results". Libya Herald. 18 July 2014. Archived from the original on 23 May 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Libya publishes parliamentary election results". Xinhua. 22 July 2014. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  19. ^ Daragahi, Borzou (31 March 2015). "Tripoli authority sacks prime minister". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  20. ^ a b Kingsley, Patrick (17 December 2015). "Libyan politicians sign UN peace deal to unify rival governments". Archived from the original on 17 December 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  21. ^ Schleifer, Abdallah (25 December 2015). "Libyan deal on course, but who is on board?". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Support grows for Libya's new unity government". Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  23. ^ Ayyub, Saber (31 March 2016). "Rebel Tripoli administration vanishes". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Tripoli Salvation Government resigns, hands power back to GNC - Libyan Express". 1 April 2016. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Op-Ed: Libya Herald report claims that Tripoli government 'vanished'". 1 April 2016. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  26. ^ a b "Libya's Tripoli Government Says Will 'Cease Operations'". ABC News. 2016-04-05. Archived from the original on 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  27. ^ "Tripoli authorities cede power to Libyan unity government: statement". Yahoo! New Zealand. 2016-04-05. Archived from the original on 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  28. ^ "Libya elections: Do any of the parties have a plan?". BBC News. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  29. ^ Margaret Coker (22 June 2012). "Libya Election Panel Battles Ghosts". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Research paper" (PDF). www.swp-berlin.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  31. ^ Mathieu Galtier (4 November 2012). "Inside the Commission for Integrity and Patriotism". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  32. ^ George Grant; Sami Zaptia (3 September 2012). "National Congress passes raft of new measures regulating selection of PM". Libya Herald. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  33. ^ Ashraf Abdul Wahab; Michel Cousins (12 September 2012). "Abushagur elected as Prime Minister". Libya Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  34. ^ George Grant (14 October 2012). "Ali Zidan elected prime minister". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  35. ^ "Libya congress approves new PM's proposed government". Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  36. ^ Sami Zapita (14 November 2012). "Zeidan government sworn in". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  37. ^ "Libyan national assembly votes Magarief president". Reuters. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  38. ^ a b Umar Khan (11 August 2012). "Mohammed Magarief: From Libya's most hunted man to National Congress speaker". Libya Herald. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  39. ^ Luke Harding (8 July 2012). "Libyan plan to build parliament on ruins of Gaddafi's compound". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  40. ^ "UPDATE 1-Government building on fire in Libyan capital". Reuters Africa. 21 February 2011. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
External links
Official website (in Arabic)
Last edited on 13 January 2021, at 01:39
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