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Sallabi and Belhaj brought the fight into the open after Jibril began trying to rein in militias. Belhaj attended a meeting alongside the Qatari armed forces’ chief of staff and vowed, “You will never do this without me.” Sallabi began openly accusing Jibril and his allies of being “extreme secularists” worse than Qaddafi, essentially branding them as enemies of Islam.
Jibril resigned after Qaddafi was killed and initially denied that he was outmatched. It was apparent that that was the case. He conceded in one interview that “The political struggle requires finances, organization, arms and ideologies. I am afraid I don’t have any of this.” After he stepped down, he began speaking out about how Qatar is backing the Islamist side.
The chairman of the National Transitional Council began implementing aspects of Sharia Law. One of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist associates became the Religious Affairs Minister and got right to work instituting Sharia. On its way out, the National Transitional Council said that the next government should “make Sharia the main source of legislation” and “this should not be subject to a referendum.”
Jibril and the Muslim Brotherhood have already begun making plans for the next government. One of Jibril’s advisors said that he’d likely become the next President and the Muslim Brotherhood would get the post of Prime Minister and the ministries. Of course, the election results could change the arrangement. The top military leadership, which is secular, is adamantly opposed to having Islamists run the Defense Ministry.
It is too soon to celebrate Jibril’s expected victory. Official results will not come in until at least Wednesday. It’s very possible that the secularists will only have a plurality, essentially giving the Islamists veto power if they unite against a decision. It is also unclear how the seats for independent candidates will affect the balance. Most independents lean towards either side without officially belonging to a party.
It’s a positive development that Jibril’s bloc appears to be the top vote-getter but the struggle over the future of Libya and the role of Sharia Law will continue.
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