Libya gets a president

Mohammed Magarief has been elected as Libya’s president. Elections were held in the country, and the people of the country voted for the 200 members of the national assembly. The assembly took over on August 9, and voted for the president. Now the president will be involved in selecting the prime minister of the country and in defining the country’s laws and constitution.

The whole government of Libya is new. The country’s laws, regulations, the definition of what a president and prime minister does, and the structure of the government are all being worked out.

Last year, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s leader for 42 years was overthrown.  He had been a very strict leader and many people in the country had been unhappy with his rule. Libyans had protested and asked for him to step down, but he had refused. Instead, he had many protesters killed. Groups of people, referred to as the “rebel groups”, fought back, and a war broke out in the country that lasted a few months. In August last year, Gaddafi was defeated, and a couple of months later he was killed in a fight. A temporary government, called the National Transitional Council, took over Libya and led the country until the 200-member assembly took over earlier this month.

Libya’s flag has also gone through a few changes. After Gaddafi was overthrown last year, the country went back to using the flag that was used just after Libya got its independence in 1951. That flag was used until 1969, when Gaddafi took over by force. Libya’s flag went through some more changes, and in 1977, the country’s flag was changed to a solid green rectangle. This flag was in use until last year.

About 90% of Libya is a desert. One of the hottest places on Earth is a city in Libya. In 1922, El Azizia  recorded the hottest temperature ever measured on Earth – 136 degrees Fahrenheit (57.8 Celsius) – now that is HOT! A famous site in Libya is the ruins of a Roman city called Leptis Magna from about 2,000 years ago (image). These ruins are located in what today is called the city of Khoms.