BENGHAZI, Libya (The Muslim Brotherhood held its first public conference on Libyan soil on Thursday after being banned for decades, and used the platform to set a moderate tone, calling for a broad national reconstruction effort.
As Libya emerges from a bloody civil war, many observers believe the next elections could pit religious political groups against secular parties, with better-organized Islamists such as the Brotherhood having a tactical advantage.
Speaking nine months to the day after the start of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi that eventually ended his 42-year rule, Libyan Muslim Brotherhood leader Suleiman Abdelkader praised the rebellion and called on Libya’s factions to unite.
“Rebuilding Libya is not a task for one group or one party but for everyone, based on their ability,” Abdelkader told the meeting of about 700 people at a wedding hall in Benghazi, the eastern city where the revolt against Gaddafi began.
His remarks appeared to be an expression of support for the idea of a technocratic interim government, which Abdurrahim El-Keib, the prime minister designate, is trying to assemble by a Tuesday deadline.
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