Mohamed Sowan

Libyan politician Mohamed Sowan has served as the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Justice and Construction Party (JCP) since its formation in March 2012.Political Handbook of the World 2015, ed. Tom Lansford, (New York: SAGE, 2015), https://books.google.com/books?id=yNGfBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false. He was previously held as a prisoner of war for eight years under Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi due to his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood.Political Handbook of the World 2015, ed. Tom Lansford, (New York: SAGE, 2015), https://books.google.com/books?id=yNGfBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false;
Mary Fitzgerald, “Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood Struggles to Grow,” Foreign Policy, May 1, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/01/libyas-muslim-brotherhood-struggles-to-grow/.
According to an internal document released by the U.S. Department of State in 2012, Sowan “wields significant influence as the head of the…most influential Islamist party in Libya.”“US document reveals cooperation between Washington and Brotherhood,” Gulf News (Libya), June 18, 2014, http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/libya/us-document-reveals-cooperation-between-washington-and-brotherhood-1.1349207.

In the 2012 national Libyan elections, the JCP won 17 seats and became the second-largest party in the government, outsized only by the National Forces Alliance (NFA).Political Handbook of the World 2015, ed. Tom Lansford, (New York: SAGE, 2015), https://books.google.com/books?id=yNGfBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false. Under Sowan, the JCP has refused to cooperate with the NFA—a coalition and militia comprised of approximately 60 political parties and over 100 NGOs favoring more liberal, yet still Islamist, policies.Political Handbook of the World 2015, ed. Tom Lansford, (New York: SAGE, 2015), https://books.google.com/books?id=yNGfBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false;
Anas El Gomati, “Libya’s Islamists and the 17 February Revolution,” in Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring: Rethinking Democratization, ed. Larbi Sadiki, (New York: Routledge, 2015), 131;
Mary Fitzgerald, “Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood Struggles to Grow,” Foreign Policy, May 1, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/01/libyas-muslim-brotherhood-struggles-to-grow/.

JCP members convened at a congress meeting in April 2014 and re-elected Sowan as the party’s leader.Mary Fitzgerald, “Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood Struggles to Grow,” Foreign Policy, May 1, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/01/libyas-muslim-brotherhood-struggles-to-grow/. The JCP’s support waned in Libya’s June 2014 general elections, but the party refused to transition power to the House of Representatives. This refusal made the JCP the ruling party of the Tripoli-based General National Congress.Political Handbook of the World 2015, ed. Tom Lansford, (New York: SAGE, 2015), https://books.google.com/books?id=yNGfBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false. Analysts suggest that the JCP’s affiliation with the Brotherhood, particularly with Sowan as its head, is limiting the party’s appeal among the greater Libyan populace.Mary Fitzgerald, “Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood Struggles to Grow,” Foreign Policy, May 1, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/01/libyas-muslim-brotherhood-struggles-to-grow/.

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