Libya paves the way for elections

Libya's interim leaders are moving to put the war-torn country back together. A declaration of liberation is expected Sunday.

On Saturday acting Prime Minister Makhmoud Jibril resigned, clearing the way for an interim government and elections. CBS News Elizabeth Palmer in Tripoli has the latest.

Just before stepping down, Libya's interim prime minister also set an ambitious deadline for elections.

"The first election after the liberating of the country, which should take place today, should be within a period of eight months, maximum," he said.

Libyans line up to view Muammar Qaddafi's body at a shopping centre in Misrata, Libya, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011.
AP/Manu Brabo

Before Jibril left office, he along with thousands of other Libyans went to a shopping center in the city of Misrata where Col. Muammar Qaddafi's corpse was on public display for the second day in a row -- laid out by the rebel fighters who caught him.

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Most of the spectators had no sympathy.

"He killed my brother, my cousin, he raped my friends, he burned my family's house," said a woman.

Cell phone video shows that once captured, there was no mercy for Qaddafi.

The scene was chaotic. Qaddafi tried to talk to his captors, saying, "This is forbidden is Islam."

One of them replied, "Shut up, you dog."

More than 48 hours after his death, Libyans are still celebrating. They are enjoying unprecedented freedoms, like gathering in public without fear and speaking their minds openly for the very first time.

But there's hard work ahead for them and the interim government. If they want orderly elections for next summer, thousands of well-armed rebel fighters on the streets must be persuaded either to go back to their day jobs or sign up in a new national army. And Libya's damaged pipelines and terminals need major repairs to get the oil flowing out and billions of dollars of much-needed revenue flowing in.

The Transitional National Council had just announced that Qaddafi's body will be given back to his family. They've made it clear his grave will be discreet -- maybe even secret -- so it doesn't become a rallying point for any kind of violent insurgency.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."