By . . .[restrict]Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 2 June:
A media event to launch for the Nation Party’s election campaign was held today in Tripoli today, Saturday.
The event, attended by a number of Libyan officials including members of the NTC as well as ambassadors and representatives of other political parties, attracted some 400 people of whom around a quarter were women. Abdul Hakim Belhaj, Mohammed Durrat, and Mohammed Ghula, Radia Oureymi and Zainab Laafi took the podium although as the party is yet to elect its leadership they were given no formal designations.
Missing from the event was Dr Ali Sallabi, one of the party founders. He had prior commitments.
A statement was read to the audience stating the aims of the party as freedom, justice and development. It said that all Libyans were partners in the development of the country and that the party was open to anybody who wanted to join. The party policies were established by the members themselves and not by any spiritual leader. The statement claimed that it was the spirit of empowerment that members could decide the vision themselves and the democratic culture within the party that made it different from other parties.
It further said that the party had active branches in 29 Libyan towns and cities and that they were increasing steadily in number. It said that the party believed in using Islam as the frame of reference and that it was optimistic of doing well in the elections as the party slogan was something all Libyans could identify with. It said that the party believed that the contribution of all Libyans in the political process was very critical for the future of Libya.
On foreign policy and relations with the neighbours, the statement said that it believed in non interference in the internal affairs of other countries. It wanted to pursue the policy of peace and cooperation with other countries.
Addressing the media, Ms. Oureymi said that the party had a clear policy on women — it believed that the women had a role to play in the future of Libya. She also said that the party wanted to encourage women by giving them opportunities to work for their country. Fifty percent of party candidates were women she added.
Oureymi, a member of staff at Tripoli University told the Libya Herald the Nation Party strongly believed in supporting women. She said: “Our thinking is that we all are partners in the development of our country. We are standing in the new Libya. We are sure that women will be very effective in rebuilding our country.” Asked if the party would consider imposing any dress code if it had the power of doing so, she said: “We have said it several times and it is not our party policy to impose anything. The people should be allowed to decide for themselves.”
Answering a question from the media regarding the party policy on the constitution, Ghula said:“To use Quran as the source of the constitution or as one of the sources will be the decision of the committee of the National Congress.”
A senior member of the National Front Party, Salim Ganaiyen was among many other politicians from other parties to attend the press event. He told the Libya Herald that he attended the event to support the democratic culture and to wish the members all the best. He also said that such events show that we were living in a new Libya and it was important to maintain healthy competition.
The event was also attended by several members of the Ummah Party, a group that separated from the Nation Party a few months ago.
Umar Khan can be found at twitter.com/umarnkhan [/restrict]