Libya bans religious parties under new law


Libyan authorities on Tuesday passed legislation governing the formation of political organizations which rules out religious, regional and tribal platforms and bans foreign funding.

“Political parties and associations should not be built on the basis of regional, tribal or religious affiliation,” a member of the ruling National Transitional Council told AFP.

“They cannot be an extension of a political party abroad or receive foreign funding,” said Mustafa Landi, a member of the legal committee.

Political parties must have a minimum of 250 founding members while associations need only 100, according to legislation which was agreed on late Tuesday, he said.

Libya’s electoral committee warned on April that legislation on forming political parties must be adopted soon if June elections are to go ahead as scheduled.

But even without it, dozens of parties have launched in the past months with the intention of contesting elections to a constituent assembly, which should be held by June 19.

A full 120 of the assembly’s seats are reserved for independent candidates but political associations are to contest the remaining 80.

Political organizations of any kind were banned for decades under the iron-fisted rule of Muammar Qaddafi, who was toppled and killed in last year’s popular uprising.