Before the purge law could be enacted, events took a new twist when Egypt's army overthrew its Muslim Brotherhood government. In Libya, anti-Brotherhood forces sensed a change in the balance of power. Crowds stormed and burned Brotherhood offices, and for good measure smashed the NFA's Tripoli headquarters too, blaming both parties for Libya's chaos. Rivalries between security forces and Islamists exploded into open war, and in the chaos there was a new bout of score settling among rival militias. Brotherhood politicians, sensing the national mood, backed-off on demands for the Isolation Law to be enacted. As bombings and assassinations mounted, Zeidan announced a pared-down "emergency cabinet," declaring Libya was in a "state of crisis."
Almost unnoticed, Congress formally agreed an outline plan for elections for a constitutional commission. But it left the details of the election -- and the blame should the provinces rebel against it -- to a group of unhappy officials.
The picture for Libya is not universally bleak. On February 17, the country saw unprecedented celebrations to mark the second anniversary of the start of the revolution. Tens of thousands of milling crowds filled the streets across the land, waving their tricolors. It's a unique paradox of post-revolutionary Libya; division at the top is countered by a broad consensus among the population that a united, democratic Libya is the way forward.