Libya: A Transition Threatened by the Jamahiriyya Legacy

Les études du CERI
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In post-Qadhafi Libya, the authorities are in search of a new art of governing. Despite the legitimacy accorded them by elections, they remain very weak. Without any means of coercion, they are constantly obliged to negotiate for their survival, threatened by those who were not chosen by voters but who instead draw their legitimacy from their participation in the revolution – the militias. The challenge facing the Libyan authorities is not so much to combat these forces but to harness them. Libya has not undertaken a process of “de-Qadhafication.” But for the militias, in particular the Islamists, the presence of former officials and leaders in the state apparatus is intolerable. Thus, on May 5, 2013 they pressured the parliament into passing a law excluding from politics persons who occupied positions of responsibility under the old regime. If the revolutionary brigades continue to impose their will on the government, the fall of Qadhafi’s regime will have not brought about political change in Libya but rather the continuation of former political practices under a new guise.

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