Libya's ruling council hands over power to new assembly - Yahoo! News TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's ruling council handed over power to a newly elected national assembly on Wednesday in the North African country's first peaceful transition of power in its modern history but which comes amid heightened violence. In a late-night ceremony in the capital Tripoli, the National Transitional Council (NTC), political arm of the opposition forces that toppled Muammar Gaddafi a year ago, handed over to the national congress, elected in July. NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil symbolically passed on the reins to the oldest member of the new 200-member assembly, Mohammed Ali Salim. "The National Transitional Council hands over the constitutional duties for leading the state to the general national congress, which from now on is the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people," Jalil said to loud cheers. The 200-member congress, whose members took an oath led by Salim, will now name a new chairman while the NTC will be disbanded. Large crowds gathered in Tripoli's Martyrs Square to celebrate the handover as fireworks lit up the sky. The assembly will name a new prime minister who will pick his government, pass laws and steer Libya to full parliamentary elections after a new constitution is drafted next year. A liberal coalition led by wartime rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril won 39 of the 80 party seats in the congress while its Islamist rivals, the Justice and Construction Party - the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood - won 17.