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Libya rebels set up first political leadership

He said the council was not in touch with the rest of the world or planning military strategy, but just trying to coordinate the rebel cities and administrate daily life.

"There has been no communication between the council with any outside government. After forming the full details of the council, it will decide which government (to talk to) and the nature of the contact."

He said military commanders who defected to the rebel side continued to meet over how to hasten the fall of Gadhafi's regime. Already two key cities close to the capital Tripoli are in the hands of rebels - Zawiya and Misrata.

Gogha also confirmed reports that bands of volunteers had independently traveled west to fight the regime.

"We have military institutions that support the popular revolution and we believe they will achieve the liberation of Libya," he said. "We bet on this happening in the coming days."

He dismissed Abdel-Jalil's call on the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera for elections in just three months.

"It's premature to talk about elections because we have a capital under siege," he said. "We are managing a country."

Ghoga pointed out that for years, Libya had no institutions, political or otherwise, and that in the last 10 days, the rebels had not only managed to keep their towns from falling apart, but had organized local councils.

"This is in defiance of Gadhafi's claim that chaos will happen in Libya," he said.

Under Gadhafi's theory of permanent revolution, few lasting institutions were created and instead the country was left in a perpetual state of flux with seemingly arbitrary decisions regularly changing major aspects of daily life.

One local saying goes: "Gadhafi's dreams and then he implements."

Gadhafi has claimed that without his rule, the country will disintegrate into squabbling tribes and Islamist emirates - something the rebels have been keen to dispute.

While the towns of the east have remained calm and most basic services continued for now, building a new national or regional government is shaping up to be a tough challenge.

"Everything is going very quickly," said Benghazi city council woman Salwa Bugaighis. "It is confusing. This is a movement. We are not professionals. We make mistakes," she added. "It's only been 12 days. That is not much time to build a system."

Atif al-Hasiya, a spokesperson for the emerging government in Benghazi, said Abdel-Jalil spoke to some of the officials in the towns and cities before he made his announcement on the provisional government. But he ignored others, causing bitter feelings.

He also met with opposition from the many veteran human rights activists as someone who was, for a time, closely associated with the regime.


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© 2011 The Associated Press