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Monday, 1 August, 2005

Mohammed Ben Ghalboun

Gaddafi and the Abandoned Constitution

By Mohammed Ben Ghalboun

Translation from Arabic

29 July þ2005þþþ

We at the Libyan Constitutional Union (LCU) are certain that the manner in which the monarchist Libyan Government dealt with the events of June 1967 regarding its Jewish citizens accelerated the demise of the Libyan throne and coloured with hostility the choice of its replacement. The plans that were already in the making for a regime change in Libya, with patience and prudence, by those who hold the reins and move the political pieces in our miserable part of the world were modified to take a vengeful course.

In the beginning of the 1980’s uprising Libyan patriots in alliance with several major Arab states, which were unhappy with Gaddafi, began to form a serious threat to the Libyan regime. However, this was not suitable to those who hold the reigns because the vengeful plan (for Libya) had not run its complete course just yet and the country’s infrastructure did not reach the absolute wreck that was intended for it. The once promising alliance was deliberately contained within a single organisation which went on to marginalize everyone outside its umbrella and plunged the alliance into a void of failure and irrelevance.

Now that Libya’s infrastructure has hit rock bottom and the country’s sole decision maker openly recognises the rights of the Libyan Jews to citizenship and compensation, the ruthless plan, it appears, is deemed to have completed its course and the country is welcomed back into the international fold.

It is no longer a secret that the Libyan Jews’ right for compensation was among the conditions for accepting Libya’s return to the international fold and granting Gaddafi and his heirs a new and long-lasting lease to rule Libya. (Ref: Statement by the U.S. assistant secretary of State for Near and Eastern affairs William J. Burns before the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee on March 16, 2005: )

With the Lockerbie compensation still fresh in the mind, it is easy to picture the return of the Libyan Jews and the result of negotiations for compensation, particularly since it is now an established fact that Gaddafi will agree to all that secures continuity of his reign.

However, this is not what really worries us. We are concerned about a far greater matter. When the survival of a particular regime becomes dependent on satisfying a minority of its citizens. A minority that happens to be a well-trained and a tightly knit community that enjoys a completely advantaged standing with the superpower that is exerting the pressure and holds all the pieces. To have this minority’s interests, as they alone desire them, as a condition to allowing the entire nation back to the international fold, would undoubtedly lose the regime its decision-making power and the nation (with its infrastructure in complete ruins) its political and economical independence. This will also lead to a state where that minority is elevated to the elitist status within the society.

None of Gaddafi’s maverick politics or green theories will get him out of this particular web. The trap was designed by ruthless professionals who meticulously studied and used his psychology to achieve a result where he is persuaded to react naturally in predictable ways to implement their objectives and faithfully complete the course.

We believe that the above analysis was the pre-determined outcome of the Libyan ordeal of the past 35 years, and it is the course we see developments will follow.

“New world order” wishes will turn into orders. Gaddafi’s concessions will continue with the waves of pressure. He will be powerless. He will have no ground on which to contest the imposed demands, as he is the sole decision maker in the “Jamahiriya”. He created it and the laws and legislations are entirely of his making. He cannot hide behind the “People’s National Assembly” or divert responsibility to it. Past years have shown the assembly to be a puppet show that merely rubber-stamps his wishes.

The internationally endorsed Libyan Constitution of 1951 was the only threat to implementing the wicked plot. Gaddafi was therefore ‘encouraged’ to abolish The Constitution from the outset. Attempts by The Libyan Constitutional Union to raise the Constitutional banner were stifled at birth, and the movement was isolated and kept in the dark to the extent that our call could only manage to break through barriers and reach the Libyan Opposition itself after 24 years of perseverance. This was in spite of the clarity and relevance of its message, in addition, to the sincerity and aptitude of the majority of its target audience, the Libyan people.

For history, the late King Hassan II of Morocco was the only man who recognised our goal from the beginning. He sent a personal representative to express his admiration and appreciation and to offer us his valuable and decisive support as a gift to the Libyan people. However, this was on condition that we amend a certain point in our case. His condition was (sadly) motivated by misinformation from factions of his then guests from the Libyan opposition groups. This is not the appropriate time to elaborate on this matter. Our refusal to comply lost us The King’s support, as we could not convince his majesty that his guests were misleading him. A fact he learnt later but after Libya had lost that golden opportunity. The late King assigned one of his most trusted men, the veteran politician and former Prime Minister of Morocco Mr Almuti Abu Obeid, to form the “Moroccan Constitutional Union” in the spring of 1983 to benefit the Moroccan people of the concept which had profoundly appealed to him.

Had Gaddafi ever reverted back to The Constitution at any time of his rule and recognised, respected and enforced it, he would still have been able to rule supreme as he wished (only without the divine aura he ruthlessly pursued), and would now be in a position to use it as an international shield to defend the country’s sovereignty. He would be in a position to legitimately refer unreasonable demands to parliament, which in turn would be shielded with the constitution.

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