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article imageLibya's NTC failed miserably as unelected elite: ex NTC minister

By Katerina Nikolas     Nov 25, 2011 in World
Tripoli - The outgoing finance minister of Libya's NTC has launched a vocal criticism of its failures. Ali Tarhouni says the NTC is unrepresentative of the people, favors an unelected elite, and leaves 90 percent of the population with no political voice.
The announcement of the new Libyan interim government cabinet, under the leadership of newly appointed interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib, was greeted favorably in Washington. The U.S. praised the new cabinet as a significant step towards democracy, [i]Al Hdhod reported, yet it wasn't quite so well received by the people it will affect, the Libyans themselves.
Until Wednesday, Ali Tarhouni served as finance and oil minister in Libya's National Transitional Council, and was widely tipped to continue in the role of finance minister in the new interim government cabinet. His decision to turn down the offered role of finance minister came as a surprise, but not as much as a surprise as the way he suddenly voiced strong criticism of the NTC. He left the NTC having branded it as having "failed miserably."
Tarhouni, a 60-year-old exiled Libyan economist living in Seattle until the uprising against the Gaddafi regime, took over the rebel finances, negotiating with foreign countries for more cash for the NATO backed rebel cause. Thus his sudden criticism is particularly revealing and demonstrates his own disappointment in the outcome of the civil war, which he says leaves 90 percent of the people deprived of a political voice.
Feb 17. info reported Tarhouni said “The voices that we see now are the voices of the elite, the voices of the NTC who are not elected and the voices of other people who are supported by the outside by money, arms and PR" just hours after the new cabinet was announced. His claim of outside money and arms refers in no small part to support Qatar has given to Libyan Islamists fronted by Abdel Hakim Beljadh.
Tarhouni went on to say that the NTC had "failed miserably in melding the myriad armed militias that still roam the country into an official national army." Additionally he pointed out “I see danger for the sovereignty of Libya. I see a threat for the wealth of the Libyan people." Whilst his words are patently true it is ironic he criticizes so harshly the council he was such an integral part of, distancing their failure from himself.
His words highlight the ineffectiveness of the interim government and its failure to cohesively represent the newly liberated people. It may well be to Washington's liking but it fails to represent the regions which are increasingly becoming more hostile in their attitudes to one another, without the common enemy of Gaddafi to unite them.
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