Libyan assembly chief ‘to quit after Qaddafi-era law’

Mohamed al-Megaryef will submit his resignation on Tuesday. (File Photo: AFP)

The president of Libya’s highest political body will resign on Tuesday after a law was passed banning those who served under the ousted regime of late dictator Moamer Qaddafi, an aide said on Monday.

Mohamed al-Megaryef “will on Tuesday evening submit his resignation before members of the General National Congress,” the national assembly, one of his advisers told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The members of the General National Congress will elect a new president in the coming days,” the adviser said, but without elaborating on the reasons for Megaryef's planned resignation.

Megaryef was Libya’s ambassador to India in the 1980s before he defected and joined the opposition in exile.

The state news agency Lana, quoting a statement from Megaryef’s office, said he will announce his resignation in a speech on Tuesday evening.

On May 5, the national assembly passed a controversial law banning officials who served under Qaddafi between September 1, 1969 and the fall of his regime in October 2011 from holding any political role.

The law -- which comes into force on June 5 -- was adopted under pressure from armed groups demanding the ouster of former regime officials from current political office.

Megaryef was elected to head the GNC last August following Libya’s first post-uprising elections the previous month.

A Britain-educated economist, he was born in 1940 in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of the uprising that toppled Qaddafi’s regime.

Megaryef spent 31 years in exile, including 20 years as a political refugee in the United States, and along with other dissidents he founded an opposition group that had tried to overthrow Qaddafi.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:50 - GMT 10:50