TRIPOLI - Libya has dropped a ban against parties based on religion, tribe or ethnicity, an official said, after the law irked Islamist parties in the run up to the first free election in June.

Members of the ruling National Transitional Council's judicial committee on Wednesday read out an amended version of a law governing the formation of political parties, making no mention of the ban, which was announced last week.

"This point has been dropped and so any party or political organisation will follow the law as it is now," Salwa Al-Dgheily, a member of the NTC judicial council, told Reuters.

Libyans go to the ballot box in June to elect a national assembly for the first time since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Eighty of the 200 seats will go to political parties, with the rest reserved for independent candidates.

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