TRIPOLI — A top member of Libya’s liberal coalition, which claims to have swept 70 percent of seats reserved for parties in the next congress, on Wednesday rejected political Islam and called for a civil state.
“The National Forces Alliance is against the injection of religion into political battles,” Faisal Krekshi, secretary general of the National Forces Alliance, told AFP in an interview.
“Our programme is a civil, democratic state based on institutions,” he said.
“Keeping in mind that this country is 100 percent muslim, Islam will be the main reference in the drafting of the constitution,” he said, stressing that all political forces are in agreement on that point.
The NFA, however, is against consulting the mufti — the country’s highest religious Muslim authority — when it comes to taking political decisions and drafting legislation, he said.
“At the NFA we do not believe in the ayatollahs, religious guides, or sacred legislators,” he said.
Playing the “Islamist” card, he added, backfired for rival parties, including the Justice and Construction Party which was launched by Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, at the polls.
“It wasn’t a smart move. Moreover, the people saw through it and gave their verdict through the ballot box,” Krekshi said.
Libyans on Saturday voted for a General National Congress, a legislative assembly where 80 seats are reserved for party lists and 120 others are open to independents, in the first elections since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi’s regime.
Preliminary figures, which are still being rolled out district by district, give a net advantage to the NFA, a broad coalition of parties rallying behind wartime premier Mahmud Jibril, over Islamist contenders.
“We expect to get 55 out of 80 party seats (70 percent),” said Krekshi.
“In terms of the individuals or independents, there are 40 or 45 who believe in the programme of the coalition. Until now, although we are still counting, the NFA has 95 to 100, or 50 percent of seats, in the next congress.”
That number can grow through new alliances with individual candidates who share the coalition’s drive to rebuild Libya, Krekshi continued.
Both Islamists and liberals are courting independents, who hold the majority of seats, in the hope of securing a clear majority.