Lawyers for Justice in Libya supports many of the demands made by the protestors in Benghazi asking the National Transitional Council (NTC) to clarify the remit of its authority and powers. LFJL welcomes the recent statement by the Chairman of the NTC addressing some of these concerns. However, the NTC has yet to meet many of the targets it has set itself previously and many of the promises it has made to the Libyan people. In particular, the NTC failed to disclose details of its membership and adhere to the Constitutional Declaration published by the NTC itself.
LFJL strongly condemns the lack of transparency currently within the NTC. The NTC has yet to declare officially its full membership, what its powers are, its decision-making processes or how its budget is allocated and spent. It is also unclear what the NTC’s powers are vis-à-vis the new interim government headed by Dr. Abdulrahim El-Keib. The decisions made by the NTC are in many instances contradictory to statements made by the head of the NTC and the interim government. The Libyan people through months of struggle against the Gaddafi regime have earned their right to a transparent decision-making process during this transitional phase. The NTC, as an interim unelected body, should strive to earn the confidence of the Libyan people through transparency, accountability and adherence to its interim powers. Otherwise, it cannot demand the full support of the Libyan people during this interim phase nor can it create a chain of command for the various militias in Libya. The NTC, through its lack of transparency, has also made it difficult for the militias across Libya to facilitate disarmament and to bring fighters under a central government authority.
LFJL therefore calls on the NTC to commit to publish its membership, its powers, its internal decision making process, all the decisions it has passed, its financial sources and how its budget has been spent so far. The NTC derives its powers to the Libyan people and accountability can only be ensured through transparency. LFJL therefore also calls for the NTC to start televising its sessions live on public television in order to allow the Libyan people and free press to review and monitor its internal decision-making processes. In addition, LFJL calls for the NTC to strive to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people including the demands of the protestors in Benghazi. LFJL also urges the NTC to make public its plans for bringing the militias under a centralized accountable government authority and for disarmament. Finally, LFJL calls on the NTC to reaffirm its commitment to a democratic Libya, free and fair elections to the National Congress and the respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.