Large crowds gathered in Benghazi to hear the leader of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) declare Libya free after 42 years of rule under Muammar Gaddafi ended last week.
His capture and death set the North African state on course for a move towards democracy.
The majority of people who attended the ceremony had known nothing but Gaddafi’s all powerful police state before this year’s Arab Spring revolts spread to Libya.
During the announcement NTC Chief, Mustafa Abdel Jalil said: “We are a muslim country and Sharia will be the base of all laws…so all legislation that is not in accordance to the principals of Islam will not be applied.”
Some fear Abdel Jalil will struggle to impose his will on his well armed revolutionary alliance.
This was demonstrated in the town of Mistrata where soldiers decided to keep Gaddafi’s body on public display three days after his death, which goes against Islamic practice.
With large oil and gas reserves, Libya has the potential to become prosperous but without strong leadership regional rivalries could erupt into more violence.