By: Essa Baghny
Officials refusal to step down from offices and determination to carry out working while others were assigned to the same offices is a phenomenon that needs deep consideration. It implies an implicit rejection of peaceful power circulation despite the general approval.
There is no doubt that accepting power handover from one official to the other is the primary foundation for effective democratic institutions. What made such phenomenon prevailed is the demise of majeure force known from the former totalitarian regime, that monopolized hiring for high state posts. And there was no way to take one’s position or refuse to get out. And with the absence of public institutions, appeared hundreds of power centers that legitimize offices, though fragmentation became a daily habit in the Libyan scene.
The culture of peaceful power circulation is a modern civilized noble culture that wasn’t available for the Arab or Muslims to perform across their long history. We could see power hand over refusal evident in the events of great sedition when Bani-Umayyad came against Imam Ali. Imam Ali supporters are divided into sects until it ended with the Umayyad ruling, then Abbasid monarchy. It is a culture all Islamic states still suffer its consequences.
Rejection of power circulation confused the Libyan situation since General Khalifa Haftar committed a coup against the state authority and freeze the constitutional declaration, and said his famous word “from now on, the constitutional declaration is frozen.” That coincided with the refusal of the House of Representatives (HoR) to hand over power from the General National Congress (GNC), followed by the GNC refusal to give up to the HoR and decision to continue working based on a ruling from the constitutional court. Thus rejection became a legitimized act from everyone. With such violations, all political and military procedures ended, the HoR turned into a follower to the army.
For regional reasons, Al-Baida municipality expelled the Interim Government, which sacked the exterior, health, and the interior ministers, they all refused the decision. The interior minister, backed by Benghazi lawmakers, demanded that he would follow up to the army, not the government or the HoR, which is a (shamble) thinking. Add on that the refusal of Libya ambassadors in Egypt, Italy, Malta, the heads of Libyan Investment Authority to hand over power, some opened parallel offices for embassies and state institutions.
Lately, witnessed a comic series about reviving the Salvation Government and the GNC, and gave a booster injection to the Interim Government, such acts indicate that both heads of the Interim and Salvation governments are acting as managers who owe the right to establish a consortium to extend their time. They are not working as state heads, with the Egyptian government acting like the Godfather a doesn’t spare any efforts to undermine Shkirat agreement, which hasn’t yet been implemented.
Despite the disadvantages of the Presidential Council (PC), running backward will be more complicated than moving forward in the accord. As such, we found the presidential guards abdicate their official task in exchange for what? And we are talking about discipline, leadership, and control, are those included? Or the presidential guards need more disciplined command? That reminds us of the Japanese soldier in Indonesia’s forests who refused to acquit his weapon twenty years after the war ended without hand written decree from his commander.
There are, in fact, two main things that astonish any observers to the Libyan matter. Firstly; we are not talking about problems occurring inside any syndicate or consumer association, but we speak of state officials, the heads of governments, the ministers, and the members of the HoR. We are talking about the people elected through ballot boxes, we are speaking about the elites, they all agree about the importance of peaceful circulation of power. But when it comes to their seats, they immediately refuse.
Such phenomenon raises an important question about the effectiveness of our institutions, colleges, and universities, about the credibility of our college certificates, and also our culture system in establishing state institutions, and the effectiveness of pedagogy of the educational process like working and professional ethics. Not to mention values of democratic methodology that are not established yet. Conversely, we witnessed the resignation of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, after losing the Brexit race.
The second matter is the national civil mobilization we saw in Benghazi Salvation Association against outlawed armed groups. In Benghazi, the elite mixed with military men, some justify their actions, others left the scene and embarked on themselves. None of them warbled that the current approach is not civilized, nor democratic, and resembles a marriage between tribalism and literature of the covenant regime, by using suppression to achieve security, looting public freedoms and halt of development. It is like an old oil in a new bottle.
But in Tripoli, local movements became more decent, and the speech about individual acts is not publicized like the return of the GNC or its government, or the presence of outlawed forces, but some people mix all the papers to go back to the zero point, like prolonging the war and social disintegration.
What could be a useful approach for Libyan policies and state institutions is to activate and widen a civilized mobilization from national spectrum away from regionalism or tribalism or religious ideologies.
Such spectrum should bear the responsibility of enlightening the society and pushing it toward establishing a civilized society with effective institutions. (Yes Libya) Movement is a good start that works with everyone for everyone. We hope all activists who believe in the civilized society to join it and form pressuring public opinion that leads the path to the modern Libyan state.
Essa Baghny is a Libyan Writer
Translated By “Libyan Prospect”