Unintended Consequences of Libya's New Law

As we prepare our weekly newsletter this morning, the General National Congress (GNC) is in the process of electing a new President to succeed Mohammed Magariaf, who resigned as a result of the new 'political isolation law'. Ten candidates have put their names forward.

That Mr Magariaf should have had to resign is seen by many as unfair and counterproductive, given his tenuous links to the former regime -- he served as Ambassador to India in the 1970s -- and his active opposition to Gaddafi since defecting more than 30 years ago.

As Tarek Mitri, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, told the UN Security Council, "we believe many of the criteria for exclusion are arbitrary, far-reaching, at times vague, and are likely to violate the civil and political rights of large numbers of individuals".

We believe that the new law also risks depriving Libya of much-needed talent and experience.

But Mr Mitri added, as we have often argued on Libya Business News, "the risks in Libya should not be underestimated, and by the same token, the opportunities should not be overlooked".

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