|Libya Table of Contents
The Constitutional Proclamation of December 11, 1969, designated the RCC as the supreme executive and legislative authority in Libya. The RCC itself was a collegial body in which issues and policies were debated until enough consensus developed to establish a unified position. As the RCC's chairman, however, Qadhafi was the dominant figure in the revolutionary government. Although he lacked absolute authority to impose his will on his RCC colleagues, they generally deferred to him as the primary leader and spokesman.
The RCC appointed the members of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers was responsible collectively to the RCC, which could dismiss the prime minister individually or accept the resignation of other ministers. The prime ministers's resignation automatically caused the resignation of the entire Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers also was charged with executing general policy in accordance with RCC decisions. When these decisions required new laws, the Council of Ministers drafted legislation for the RCC's consideration. Promulgation was by RCC decree.
After 1969 numerous cabinet shuffles occurred, sometimes in reaction to dissension within the Council of Ministers and threats against the RCC and at other times in attempts to balance or modify the mix of civilian and military members of the cabinet. Qadhafi became prime minister in January 1970, but by 1972 he increasingly left routine administrative tasks to another RCC member, Major Abdel Salam Jallud (also seen as Jalloud), in order to devote himself to revolutionary theory. In July 1972, Jallud assumed the position of prime minister. At the time there was speculation in the foreign press that the new Council of Ministers' composition indicated dissension within the RCC and the diminishing of Qadhafi's authority; these notions proved erroneous, however, at least regarding the latter point. Qadhafi retained the positions of chairman of the RCC, commander in chief of the armed forces, and president of the mass political organization, the ASU, and he personally administered the oath of office to Jallud.
Qadhafi's continuing dedication to revolutionary theorizing led to an April 1974 decree relieving him of his other political, administrative, and protocol duties so that he might devote all of his time to his primary interest. Jallud assumed the functions Qadhafi relinquished; he had already been performing many of them unofficially. Despite the fact that Qadhafi retained the position of commander in chief of the armed forces, speculation again arose that his power and authority were waning. Instead, the RCC decree appeared only to have formalized a division of labor between Qadhafi's theoretical interests and Jallud's practical political and administrative interests--a division that had existed informally for some time.
More about the Government of Libya.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress