Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy
Libya's post-conflict transition is underway, as Libyans work to consolidate change from the 40- year dictatorship of Muammar al Qadhafi to a representative government based on democratic and Islamic principles. On July 7, 2012, Libyan voters chose 200 members of a General National Congress (GNC) in the country's first nationwide election in nearly 50 years. The GNC will oversee national government affairs, appoint a new cabinet, and determine the method for selecting members of a drafting committee to prepare a new constitution. If voters approve a constitution in a national referendum, then new elections are to be held by mid-2013, bringing a nearly two-year transition process to a close. As of August 2012, the United States government has provided more than $200 million in assistance to Libya since the start of the uprising in 2011, including $89 million in humanitarian assistance, $40 million for weapons abatement, and $25 million in nonlethal assistance from Department of Defense stockpiles. As Libyans work to shape their future, Congress and the Administration have the first opportunity since the 1960s to fully redefine U.S.-Libyan relations.
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