Gaddafi’s American Constitution
An Open Letter to Dr Benjamin R. Barber
(Published in the Guardian on 24th December 2008)
We follow with great interest the Libyan regime’s latest attempts to consolidate the rule of the Gaddafi clan and grant it the legitimacy it lacks through drawing up a “constitution” for Libya. And we note your involvement in the process.
The Libyan regime’s intentions must be seen as suspect, if it continues with establishing a constitution that ignores the existence of the Nation’s Constitution which was drawn under the auspices of the United Nations prior to the country’s independence in 1951. The 1951 Constitution remains the only legal document for Libya, not only on the grounds of national consensus but also according to international convention. Ignoring this momentous document is unjustifiable.
The Libyan Constitution was summarily annulled by the same force that is now composing a new one, when it seized power (and thus forced itself on the Libyan people) by a military coup d'état in 1969. It is elementary that disabling the Nation’s Constitution in such a manner is not to be sanctioned by those who value the principles of legality such as yourself.
Mohamed Ben Ghalbon