Revolutionary Command Council (Libya)

views updated May 21 2018


Leaders of Libya's 1969 revolution and subsequent government until 1977.

Following the overthrow of the Libyan monarchy on 1 September 1969, the central committee of the Free Unionist Officers movement designated itself the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) in a December 1969 constitutional proclamation. Initially exercising both executive and legislative functions, the RCC took whatever measures it deemed necessary to protect the revolution. Even when the RCC later appointed outsiders to a council of ministers, it reserved supreme authority in all fields to itself.

The twelve members of the RCC shared similar backgrounds, motivations, and worldviews. Largely drawn from the lower middle class and minor tribes, most of its members graduated from the military academy in Benghazi at a time when a military career offered opportunities for upward socioeconomic mobility. The language of the RCC was the language of Arab nationalism, guided by precepts from the Qurʾan and strengthened by the conviction that the revolutionary government spoke for the masses.

Members of the RCC constituted the cabinet of the Libyan government until 2 March 1977, when the Declaration of the Establishment of the People's Authority stated that direct popular authority would be the basis for a new Libyan political system. At that point, Muammar al-Qaddafi was designated general secretary of the newly formed General People's Congress and the remaining four members of the now defunct RCC composed its general secretariat.

see also jamahiriyya; libya; qaddafi, muammar al-.

ronald bruce st john

Revolutionary Command Council (Egypt)

views updated May 17 2018


Egyptian political body formed in the summer of 1952.

The Free Officers movement formed the RCC following its overthrow of King Farouk (July 1952) and establishment of a military junta. Led by Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, the members of the RCC included Colonel Anwar al-Sadat, Major Abd al-Hakim Amir, Major Salah Salam, Major Khalid Muhyi al-Din, and other high-ranking officers. General Muhammad Naguib, an older and widely respected officer, was brought in as prime minister and, in June 1953, president of the newly declared Republic of Egypt. The RCC faced a series of challenges in consolidating power, that from the Muslim Brotherhood probably the most significant. A power struggle between Nasser and Naguib led to Naguib's ouster in November 1955 and was an important step in Nasser's rise to power. The RCC was officially dissolved in 1956.

see also free officers, egypt; muslim brotherhood.


Harris, Christina. Nationalism and Revolution in Egypt: The Role of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Hague: Mouton, 1964.

Vatikiotis, P. J. The History of Modern Egypt: From Muhammad Ali to Mubarak, 4th edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

matthew s. gordon

About this article

Revolutionary Command Council

All Sources -
Updated Aug 08 2016 About content Print Topic


Revolutionary Command Council