Libya Government and Politics

According to, 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 prime minister.

Libya Country Flag

Reference: Libya Flag Meaning

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 power.

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 in court.

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 new constitution.

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.

Libya Head of Government

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