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Libya, Government

Libyan revolution, military coup, Muammar, Qaddafi, ultimate power

Libya is governed as a jamahiriya (“state of the masses”) under a constitution adopted in 1977 by the General People’s Congress (GPC), the national legislature established in 1976. The tenet behind this political arrangement is the Third Universal Theory, expounded by Muammar al-Qaddafi in his three-volume tract, The Green Book. This theory, which exhibits influences from socialism, Islamic political theory, and Libyan tribal practice, was designed as an alternative to both capitalist liberalism and communism. Although Qaddafi, who came to power in a military coup in 1969, is treated internationally as the Libyan head of state, he claims to have relinquished all formal power in favor of the GPC, retaining only an advisory role as the “Supreme Guide” of the Libyan revolution. In practice, however, he retains ultimate power. Delegates to the General People’s Congress are chosen by local governments, known as Basic People’s Congresses. Organizations known as Popular Committees are also important elements of the political scene, serving as vehicles to bring together political and policy interests outside the congresses, typically in workplaces.

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Article key phrases:

Libyan revolution, military coup, Muammar, Qaddafi, ultimate power, national legislature, socialism, Green Book, communism, GPC, Delegates, tenet, constitution, jamahiriya, important elements, favor, masses, local governments, vehicles, workplaces, influences, Organizations, alternative


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