Protesters storm Libyan parliament preventing vote to approve new cabinet; South Korea brings foreign journalists to disputed islands; Tibetan man dies in fifty-third case of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule; Imran Khan to stage anti-drone protest; Mau Mau veterans win ruling against United Kingdom; and more

Top of the Agenda: Libyan Protesters Storm Assembly Over Cabinet Lineup


More than 100 protesters stormed Libya's parliament on Thursday, preventing MPs from taking their seats to vote on whether to approve a new cabinet (Reuters) in the first democratic government since the fall of Muammar al-Qaddafi. Protesters objected to the omission of a minister from their city, Zawiya, from the lineup of twenty-nine cabinet nominees, but agreed to clear the chamber peacefully. Libya's parliamentary process was dealt another blow hours later when the prime minister, Mustafa Abushagur, announced that MPs had informally rejected thirteen of his nominees. The procedure has been controversial in Libya, as Abushagur's nominees exclude the National Forces Alliance (Guardian), the largest party in congress.

Analysis

"The lack of NFA representation in the cabinet is somewhat less surprising given the electoral system in Libya. Of the 200 seats available only 80 are available to political parties with the other 120 represented by independent candidates. Under Gadaffi, parties were banned on the ground they created disunity in the country. While the NFA won nearly half of the 80 seats for parties, the independents are regarded as more friendly on the whole to religious blocs. As a result, Abushagur has selected several cabinet members associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Only one woman was named to the cabinet, as minister of social affairs," writes Ken Hanly for Digital Journal.

"As long as militias have power, Libya's economic normalization will be postponed. If groups outside the government can shape the security environment, outside investors, particularly oil companies, will be wary of returning to the country. Without foreign companies, Libyan oil production will not return to preconflict levels and, worse, it risks slipping backward. Revenue could decrease at the very time the government needs it most. Passing an electoral law within a year of the revolution should give free Libya something to celebrate. But in this case, the quick passage of a fundamentally flawed electoral law means that the National Transitional Council is on the cusp of institutionalizing democratic failure," writes Geoff Porter for the New York Times.

"This coalition is not liberal or secular in the Western sense, but it supports a civil state and is opposed to the values of the Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party. Mr. Moammar said, 'Now I am not scared for the Libyan people. We are not like Egypt and Tunisia. I am very happy to see democracy for the first time in Libya.' Libyans distrusted the Brotherhood for a few reasons, including the feeling that it had too much foreign money to spend. And precisely because Islam imbues their worldview, Libyans feel the faith is too precious to be legislated," writes Ann Marlowe for the Wall Street Journal.

 

PACIFIC RIM

South Korea Underscores Claim to Disputed Islands

The South Korean government brought a dozen foreign journalists to the islands known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan on Thursday to underscore the country's sovereignty over the territory (WashPost), which Japan also claims.

CHINA: A Tibetan man set himself on fire and died Thursday in the fifty-third case of self-immolation since protests against Chinese rule (RFA) began in February 2009.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Imran Khan to stage anti-drone protest

Mau Mau veterans win ruling against UK

 

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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