What Type of Government Does Libya Have?

Although frequently divided by conflicting factions, Libya instated a transitional (or interim) government following the 2011 death of its totalitarian ruler, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. A transitional government is one charged with the responsibility of restoring order to a conflicted state. In Libya's case, this means economic recovery, tackling rebel forces and generally creating a functioning, democratic society based on law.

Progress toward this end was made with the July 2012 elections for a General National Congress. This was a significant event because it was the first free Libyan election in around 60 years. In October, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was appointed to lead an interim government to establish conditions for a new constitution and parliamentary elections.

Although nationalist and Islamist conflicts have greatly threatened political stability, Libya's government is comparable with that of the United States and has executive, legislative and judicial branches. The executive branch is led by the chief of state and President of the General National Congress. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and the rest of the cabinet serve under the president.

The legislative branch is made of 200 seats in the General National Congress. These are divided between 120 independent seats elected from 69 constituencies and 80 party list seats elected from 20 constituencies.