Libya aims to form govt in two weeks


Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Monday set a two-week target for Libya to have a new government and said a commission of inquiry is being formed to probe Muammar Gaddafi’s killing. “We have begun talks (on forming a government), and this matter will not take a month but will be finished within two weeks,” the National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman told a media conference in the eastern city of Benghazi. And after having raised concern in the West by stressing on Sunday that the new Libya will be governed in line with Islamic sharia law, the NTC chief stressed it would remain a “moderate” Muslim country. “I would like to assure the international community that we as Libyans are Muslims but moderate Muslims,” he said.
Jalil’s two-week timeline came as Libya’s new leaders embarked on the tough task of forging an interim government uniting disparate political forces after 42 years of Gaddafi’s iron-fisted rule, under which sharia took a beat seat. “Today, we begin preparing for a new phase… the phase after the liberation, the phase that we will plan and work hard for the future of Libya,” said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the NTC. Under an NTC roadmap, an interim government is to be formed within a month and polls for a constituent assembly to draft a new basic law held within eight months – the first democratic vote since Gaddafi came to power in a 1969 coup. Parliamentary and presidential elections would be held within a year after that – or within 20 months of Sunday’s declaration.
However, concerted attempts last month to form a transitional government collapsed due to what Abdel Jalil said were “differences in views” between members of the NTC and the interim executive council. A day after the NTC’s declaration of Libya’s liberation in the wake of Gaddafi’s capture and death, Jalil also said a commission of inquiry is to probe the controversial killing of the fallen strongman. “In response to international calls, we have started to put in place a commission tasked with investigating the circumstances of Muammar Gaddafi’s death in the clash with his circle as he was being captured,” Jalil said.