28 March 2014

Libyans Debate Monarchy Return

Benghazi — With bloodshed in Libya continuing unabated, some political elites are floating the idea of a constitutional monarchy to restore order and unite the country.

"The return of the al-Senussi monarchy is now the solution and guarantee for the return of security and stability to Libya," Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz said Tuesday (March 25th) at the conclusion of Arab foreign ministers' preparatory meeting for the 25th Arab League summit.

"Contacts have already been made, and we're in touch with dignitaries and tribal chiefs in Libya, and also with the grandson of King al-Senussi, Prince Mohammed, who lives overseas," the minister added.

He noted that the 1951 constitution was being reviewed, adding that many believed it was one of the best in the region and world.

"Many tribal sheikhs who lived under monarchy and know it prefer such a system of government," he said.

Libyans are mixed over the prospect of a constitutional monarchy.

"I support the demand for the return of the king because it's the positive thing for Libya's condition," said Misrata lawyer Mansour Bourwila, 33.

"It's not strange that some Libyans have fears because they live in a country that just got out of a 42-year-old farce," Bourwila said. "These are natural fears. However... the desired monarchy will be controlled by the constitution and the oversight of parliament and will have specific and defined powers."

In her turn, teacher Hawaa Younes Said, 56, said, "Yes to the return of the prince to govern Cyrenaica so peace and security can prevail... We've had enough of this arbitrary rule in the last three years."

"Monarchy, accompanied by federalism, was and still is the ideal and final solution for the Libyan crisis," 38-year-old petroleum engineer Abderrazek al-Awami told Magharebia.

"If Prince Mohammed Hasan al-Rida al-Senussi can bring us back security and safety, why not?" journalist Saleha al-Mesmari agreed. "The most important thing is to spare the Libyan people these assassinations and bombings and get rid of terrorism."

High-school student Ayman Zidani, 17, is among those who reject the idea of a monarchy.

"It's impossible that one person govern a whole country alone. What we've seen and tried with Kadhafi was enough for Libyans," he said.

Gumhouria Bank employee Mohammed Suleiman agreed. "No to returning backwards. No monarchy and no Kadhafi-style jamahiriya; we want a new, successful rule," he said.

Others say the important thing is security for Libya.

"As far as I'm concerned, I accept even Libyan folklore artist Nadia Astar to rule Libya, as long as we get rid of these assassinations, bombings and concerns in the country," martyrs ministry employee Ali al-Houti, 33, told Magharebia.

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