By Abdullah Al-Kabir, a Libyan writer
The elections hold some hope at the beginning for coming out from getting lost, and perhaps the first ray of light at the end of the tunnel. However, many do not see it this way, and they do not hope for the positive results that can be achieved once the elections are due.
And they have a strong case for not going too far in optimism. At the national level, elections have been held twice. In the first, the General National Congress formation, and the second in the Parliament.
Both times, the elites did not transcend the state of division and meet on a national project that establishes a state of stability. Rather, the division revealed its ugly face after the election of Parliament, the political crisis deepened and wars broke out under different slogans, and the military, ideological, regional and tribal blocs emerged.
There is no disagreement about these developments that the country witnessed after the overthrow of the dictatorial regime, and it is a reflection of a deep structural crisis that was hidden under the layers of oppression. The totalitarian regime did not allow any trend to express itself, to pave the way for a free and comprehensive national dialogue between various trends and opinions that could lead to crystallize a national project that bridges the distances between the people of the homeland and its regions. Rather, it ably employed regional and tribal differences among the mechanisms that enable it to continue in power. After the fall of the regime, all trends began to crystallize into clear blocs, interact, support, grow, and announce themselves, and then proceed, seizing the opportunity of the elections, to push their candidate to positions of power.
Perhaps there was a hurry in conducting elections with no institutions protecting the path from any deviation, and it was better for the National Transitional Council to continue its revolutionary legitimacy and international recognition until it put in place the necessary legal legislation for the stage, rebuilds the security institution, and dismantled armed formations, in order to find the power resulting from the elections and the tools needed to work and move forward on the transitional path.
This is a fair and undoubted opinion, but elections are a democratic mechanism to gain power and administration, and are not responsible for the results and subsequent repercussions, it is the responsibility of the people and the elites and their awareness of the requirements of the stage, whereas the exposure of the democratic path to stumbling and blockage is a natural thing, and ancient countries in the democratic practice deal with it with more democracy, as if the elected authority fails, new elections are held immediately to form another government, there is no continuation of the losers.
The de facto authorities in Parliament have entrenched themselves in their positions and disrupted the elections, and did not adhere to the referendum to renew their legitimacy after the end of their mandate, as the February Commission’s amendments stipulate the constitutional declaration.
The Speaker of Parliament loaded with a primitive tribal awareness, considering the state as a spoil that the largest share of it must be acquired. He was alone with some MPs in the decision that has become an expression of a single political trend, and lost its character as an inclusive parliament representing all spectrums of the people and the rest of the MPs lost the will to unify the situation to correct the course and end the domination of the presidency, which created a system based on regional quotas. Unfortunately, the influential political forces have participated in the consolidation of this quota system, and it was supported by the United Nations mission. And this quota system did not produce a fair distribution of government positions and responsibilities between the regions. Rather, the distribution was limited between the influential blocs, and this is how the power and influence were shared between the competing groups, and in the heat of the struggle over the spoils, the collective national identity plunged into a deep well, and regional and tribe sub-identities rose. The disastrous consequences of this system are numerous, the loss of the concept of citizenship, the incursion of corruption into the state, and the emergence of the class classification blatantly among the few who seized power and accumulated vast wealth with their followers, in addition to the deterioration of the standard of living for the majority of people.
There is no longer a solution other than elections to remove the political class, whether it invented this quota system, or that submitted to it and did not resist it in order to preserve its interests, with great hope that the people’s awareness would rise so that they could participate effectively and present an alternative that does not promise them any special privileges but rather will support the unifying national identity, keen on the principle of efficiency first before any other characteristics and criteria. From here begins the civil state project, the state of justice, citizenship, and equal rights and duties, to break out of the cycle of conflict and save the homeland.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer