Libya became a republic after the military coup in 1969.
As a result of the regime change following the multinational
military intervention in 2011, Libya has in fact ceased to
exist as a state formation, and ordinary state functions are
either absent or not functioning. There are rival centers of
power in the capital Tripoli and in Benghazi in the east,
and there has been civil war in the country since 2011.
A national unity government was established in 2014. It
is internationally recognized but has little authority.
Libya's acting head of state (2020) is the leader of
parliament (House of Representatives; Majlis al-Nuwaab).
A presidency council (2020) acts as a government, led by a
Constitution and political governance
After the military coup in 1969, the monarchy was
abolished and Libya made a republic; eventually to "the
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya of the socialist people
". In principle, this was a direct national government
through a system of people committees at various levels
right up to the National Assembly (the National Congress).
In practice, the executive power of the Revolutionary
leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi, lay.
After Gadaffi was overthrown during a rally supported by
military intervention (Operation Unified Protector) in 2011,
a process of re-electing parliament and drafting a new
constitution was initiated. A temporary National Assembly
was elected in 2012, with the main task of drafting the
Constitution, which was passed in 2018.
Libya is formally headed by a unifying government formed
in 2015 on the initiative of the UN, but this one has little
power and is challenged - both politically and militarily -
by a rival government in the east. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of LY and its meanings of Libya.
Administratively, Libya has been divided into a varying
number of districts (sha'biyah); from 2007 in 22.
The regional structure has largely ceased to function as a
result of the civil war in the country.
Libya's legal system is in fact inoperable, as a result
of the civil war and the dissolution of the central state
A majority of the militia in Libya are Islamic
fundamentalist-oriented, and many of their officers have
been trained during the fighting in Afghanistan during the
1980s and 1990s. A school example is Abdelhakim Belhadj, who
in August 2011 was appointed Tripoli's military commander.
He received his military training in the 1980s where he,
together with the Mujahedins, fought against the Russian
occupying power in Afghanistan. In 1992 he returned to
Libya, where in 1994-98 he tried to organize a military
uprising against Ghadaffi. When it was knocked down, he fled
to Afghanistan, where he came into close contact with the
Taliban. Following the US occupation of Afghanistan in
October 2011, he was arrested by the CIA in Pakistan, but
shortly thereafter sent to Libya. It was after Ghadaffi had
begun a close intelligence collaboration with the West.
Belhadj, however, managed to escape, but in 2004 he was
again captured by the CIA. This time in Malaysia, where he
was brought back to Libya via a secret CIA prison in
Thailand, where the Ghadaffi regime threw him in jail and
subjected him to torture. Only in connection with an amnesty
in 2010 was he again released. In December 2011, Belhadj
opened investigations to lead a lawsuit against the British
government, whose MI6 in 2004 played an important role in
his capture and subsequent surrender to the Ghadaffi regime.
In April 2012, it was revealed that the British government
had offered Belhadj 1 million. £ for failing to withdraw MI6
At the end of June 2012, the Zintan militia arrested
three lawyers from the International Criminal Court ICC, who
were in Libya to question Saif al-Islam. The militia accused
the lawyers of illegally transmitting information to Saif.
Only after 20 days were the lawyers released.
At the beginning of July elections were held for a
national parliament. The election had been postponed several
times due to the security situation in the country. Before
the election, 100 parties had registered. It was
surprisingly won by the Liberal Nationalist Party National
Forces Alliance, led by Mahmoud Jibril, who got 48.8% of the
vote. The Islamic-oriented Justice Party had to settle for
21.3% of the vote. However, the result was only valid for
the 80 list seats out of the new parliament's 200 seats. The
remaining 120 seats are filled by independent candidates
selected in single-member circles. The new parliament must
appoint a prime minister and set up a committee to draft a
On September 11, US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher
Stevens, was killed during an attack on the superpower
consulate in Benghazi. The attack was carried out by the
Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia and was a spontaneous
reaction to the release of the highly anti-Islamic film
Innocense of Muslimson the Internet. US President
Barack Obama declared that the United States would track
down and murder those responsible for the attack. Ten days
later, the United States paid several organizations to throw
Ansar al-Sharia out of Beghazi. Several thousand people,
most of them armed, stormed the barracks of the movement and
threw them out. Ansar al-Sharia - who, along with the rest
of the country's militias, was brought to power in 2011 when
NATO overthrew the Khadafi regime - now switched to
guerrilla warfare. The publication of the anti-Islamic film
led to demonstrations in most of the Islamic world. About 70
were killed and many hundreds injured.
After several battles during the year, the government
gave a green light in October to the conquest of Bani Walid.
2,000 soldiers - predominantly from the Misrata militia -
were dispatched to the city and launched a siege. The city
was fired with artillery, which in the following weeks sent
most of the city's 600,000 inhabitants on the run. At the
end of the month, the last Gaddafi loyalists fled the city,
surrendering to the Misrata militia. However, clashes in the
region around the city continued the following year. In
October 2013, at least 12 soldiers were killed at a
checkpoint outside the city.
In February 2013, a car bomb ran outside the French
embassy in Tripoli. Two French security personnel were
injured. In April, Chad's president Idriss Déby accused
Libya of harboring rebels from Chad, allegedly trained in
Benghazi. Libya dismissed the charges. Also in April, 200
militiamen surrounded, among other things. ground-to-air
rockets the foreign ministry and put it under siege in
protest of officials of the old regime getting senior
positions in the ministry. At the end of the month, a
similar was carried out against the Ministry of Justice.