London, Asharq Al-Awsat-Libyan Islamist groups in exile have expressed their displeasure at the ongoing preparations for the opposition conference to be held in London on 25 th June. According to informed sources, these groups consider themselves, both in term of policy and ideology, to be the predominant force on the streets of Libya and want their clout to be reflected in the meeting.
So far, four Libyan groups have refused to take part in the conference. They are the Islamic Fighting Group, the Libyan Brotherhood, and the Libyan Islamic Group. The Salafis (who follow the ways of the early Muslims) are also staying away.
A spokesman for the Libyan opposition involved in organizing the conference told Asharq Al Awsat, in a telephone conversation, that the venue will be announced that morning, through word of mouth, due to security considerations. He added that the conference will discuss ways of “consolidating the democratic constitutional legitimacy in Libya .” The conference will include the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, the Libya Alliance, the Republican Grouping for Justice, as well as the Libyan National Movement, and the Amazigh Grouping. According to the spokesman, only the Libyan Brotherhood had announced its boycott.
The conference, sources revealed, will focus on three main issues: Libyan President Colonel Muammar Qadhafi relinquishing all his political, military, and revolutionary responsibilities, the formation of a transitional government in exile, and the preparation of a new constitution.
The Libyan opposition paper that to be circulated at the meeting will call for a democratic constitutional government to be established based on political and cultural plurality, and a peaceful succession of power.
Sources close to the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, who is organizing the conference, called on their countrymen and women to take part in the upcoming meeting and asked that manpower and resources be mobilized to ensure its success.
Asharq Al Awsat has obtained a copy of the statement issued by the Libyan Forum for Human and Political Development, announcing the group has yet to make up its mind about whether to attend the upcoming conference. The statement added, “The founder and members of the Forum do not represent the group and do not speak on its behalf. Each member has the right to take to decide for themselves if they want to take part in the Libyan opposition conference.”