Libya revokes bill which banned Gaddafi-era officials from office

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Libyan Leader Moamer Kadhafi gives a speech at the Jordanian Parliament in Amman 07 October 2000Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Officials who served under Col Muammar Gaddafi had faced a ban from public life

Libya's internationally recognised parliament has revoked a controversial law which banned Gaddafi-era officials from taking part in politics.

The law was passed under duress in 2013 when MPs were being besieged by armed groups in the capital Tripoli.

It was criticised by rights groups who described it as sweeping.

The elected parliament in the city of Tobruk has only limited powers and is opposed by the militia controlling the capital Tripoli.

"We voted to cancel the political isolation law - it's done," one MP, Ibrahim Alzgheid, told the BBC.

However, the Tobruk-based legislature in the east holds little sway over the rest of the country, making it doubtful whether the new measures will be enforceable.

Torn by conflict

Since September 2014, Tripoli has been held by an Islamist-led militia which operates a rival government in the city.

The original bill was passed in May 2013.

It targeted officials who had served under Col Muammar Gaddafi between 1 September 1969 and the collapse of his regime in October 2011.

The law was adopted under pressure from armed groups who surrounded public buildings until it was approved by officials.

Libya has been torn by conflict since the fall of Col Gaddafi, with rival militias battling for control of cities and resources.