ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
From the rebel-held city of Benghazi, NPR's Martin Kaste reports on what this nascent rebel government is doing to bolster its legitimacy.
(SOUNDBITE OF RALLY)
MARTIN KASTE: It's the rebels' weekly pep rally in Benghazi and this time they have some special guests.
U: (Foreign language spoken)
KASTE: On stage, the emcee introduces delegates from areas of western Libya that are still under Gadhafi's control. The delegates are here to take their places in a 30-seat National Transitional Council, a kind of proto-parliament.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
KASTE: Eastern Libyans like Mansour Makhlouf say they're glad to see them.
KASTE: (Through translator) Gadhafi's people were spreading rumors that we are all divided. But we're not divided. We are all brothers.
KASTE: Some of the western delegates took a gamble getting here. The council's press liaison, Shamsiddin Abdulmolah, says the delegate appointed by rebels in the western city of Misrata was targeted by Gadhafi forces.
KASTE: And they arrested him. Nobody knows where he is right now. So Misrata had to reappoint somebody else, and did not name him until he made it to Benghazi.
KASTE: Jilal Mobruk Bessiouni grew up in Benghazi but now lives in Dallas, where he raised funds to bring to the rebels.
KASTE: I gave the money to the council, to pass it to the needy people that could use it.
KASTE: What do you make of the council? What is your impression of that organization?
KASTE: Well, the jury is still out on that. So, you know, Libya was Gadhafi and nothing else. So it left a huge gap in the thought and the process of governing a state. So I give them a lot of credit. They're crawling and hopefully they're going to be walking soon.
KASTE: Bessiouni says he's troubled by the rebel government's lack of transparency. Meetings are often held in secret, and it's sometimes hard to find out who's in charge of what.
P: You're not talking about the New England City Council.
KASTE: Zahi Bashir Mogherbi is a political science professor at the local university. He says day-to-day decision making was traditionally a closed-door process in Libya.
P: Only the officials who are responsible for the different sectors - sectors of the services, the economy - meet and they decide about the issue that are facing them.
KASTE: Martin Kaste, NPR News, Benghazi, Libya.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.