Libya, Searching for a Political Map

Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi left his country in a political vacuum as he banned the establishment of political parties for over forty years. He started his term by suspending the parliament and the constitution, without replacing it with a new constitution or permitting political opposition. At the present time, while major states demand that he step down given the huge popular opposition to his rule, it is difficult for any observer to imagine the possible future of Libya.

Since Libya is located in front of Europe and stretches over nearly two million square kilometres with a population of approximately six million people, this matter is of concern since there are no political parties, and particularly following the publication of several Western reports warning of the presence of Al-Qaeda in the country. Even those who downplay the value of these reports cannot easily respond to questions about the nature of the opposition that has been fighting since February 17th, 2011 to bring down the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.