Libya's new leaders set for Tripoli move

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Tripoli, Sep 3: Libya's new leaders said on Friday they will move to Tripoli next week after their forces defeated Muammar Gaddafi and they won wide international support for plans to bring democratic rule.

"We will go to Tripoli next week. Tripoli is our capital," National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil told dignitaries and tribesmen in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Three days after overrunning Tripoli, the NTC announced on August 26 plans to transfer its executive branch to the Libyan capital, but said the whole of the council and its chair would only move once security was guaranteed.

Abdel Jalil's statement came after fallen strongman Gaddafi warned of a lengthy and widespread guerrilla war in messages broadcast from his unknown hideout.

In Tripoli, thousands of people, most of them women, gathered in Martyrs' Square in a show of support for the new leadership, also raising US and French flags while mocking Gaddafi by wearing curly wigs.

"We will win or we will die" and "Libya is one and united," read their banners.

Bolstered by promises made at a conference in Paris on Friday of billions of dollars in cash from unfrozen assets of the Gaddafi regime, the NTC prepared to implement a roadmap for bringing democracy to Libya.

A body tasked with drafting a constitution should be elected within eight months and a government within 20 months, NTC representative in Britain Guma al-Gamaty told the BBC today.

For the first eight months the NTC would lead Libya, during which a council of about 200 people should have been directly elected, Gamaty said, referring to plans drawn up in March and refined last month.

"This council... will take over and oversee the drafting of a democratic constitution, that should be debated and then brought to a referendum," he said.

Within a year of the council being installed, final parliamentary and presidential elections should be held. 

AFP

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