The Return to Constitutional Legitimacy (RCL) presents a solution to resolve the crisis in Libya and move towards a democratic transition, under which the State of Libya can restore stability and security and become a democratic state in which the rights of all its citizens are guaranteed and no one is excluded or marginalized.
Reasons to support the call for the return to constitutional legitimacy:
First: Historical reasons
1. On 1 September 1969, the Monarchy in Libya was hijacked by an illegitimate military coup which illegally suspended the Libyan constitution. This suspension would last for 42 years. Returning to the constitutional legitimacy would bring back the rightful system of governance which had been established after independence, adopted by a state based on institutions and the rule of law and widely supported by the Libyan people.
2. The Senussi Movement played a central role in the struggle of the Libyan people to achieve independence and helped to create a united, stable and secure Libyan state.
3. The Senussi Movement did not have any tribal, religious or ideological affiliations and governed Libya neutrally. In doing so, the Movement laid the foundation of a system of social justice in Libya, in which it paid attention to the concerns of all Libyan citizens.
Second: Political reasons
1. The political differences between the conflicting parties in Libya are growing, dividing them even further. They are not able to reach a political agreement which would reflect the wishes of the Libyan people.
2. The interim governments are not able to effectively manage the transitional period and the duplication of the governance institutions poses many problems.
3. Libya’s sovereignty and unity are threatened by the growing political polarization in Libya.
4. There is growing external interference in Libyan Affairs which serves certain ideological agendas rather than the best interest of Libya. Instead of positive engagement in Libyan Affairs and following the path of democracy, which would guarantee the inclusion of all parties in the political process, they exclude parts of Libyan society from taking part in finding a political solution.
5. The Libyan political parties, despite their limited role, could not reach consensess on a political vision which would rescue the country from collapse and lead it to the right path.
6. The United Nations Support Mission to Libya has not made concrete progress with the tasks entrusted to it by the United Nations Security Council in a number of resolutions on Libya. The many political, and security challenges and those related to the negotiation approaches, including a lack of focus on specificities of the Libyan people and circumstances of Libya, has impeded the full realization of a Libyan political agreement.
Third: Security reasons
1. The growing lawlessness in Libya, and the absence of institutions that deal with security problems poses a serious risk to Libya’s security. In addition, they face shortage of funds and lack capacity.
2. Conflicting armed factions and militias retain massive military power and capabilities, exceeding that of the state itself. In addition, there is a widespread proliferation of small and heavy arms in Libya, which often poses a serious risk to Libya’s national security.
3. There is no united national army capable of effectively exerting its authority on all the regions in Libya.
4. There is no police force and no intelligence apparatus that has the capacity to gather and analyze intelligence to deal with the threats to internal peace and security. Terrorist acts and extremist groups are expanding and the kidnappings for political or economic reasons are on the rise.
5. There has been an increase of cross-border illicit trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs in the region. Terrorists are able to infiltrate Libya via land and sea border.
6. There is a lack of cooperation with the neighboring countries in the Mediterranean region. Furthermore, Libya’s neighbors are unable to control and secure their borders.
Fourth: Economic reasons
1. The economy of Libya is close to collapsing, mainly due to the failure of the governments to effectively govern the country.
2. The decrease in oil production, combined with the low oil prices on the global market, put significant pressure on the budget of the Libyan government, which depends heavily on oil revenues.
3. The value of the Libyan dinar versus foreign currency has decreased while the prices for common, every day goods have risen. Moreover, foreign currency reserves have been decreasing.
4. The standard of living in Libya has deteriorated and ordinary Libyans are struggling to survive.
5. Corruption, in its all forms and manifestations, increases on all levels, particularly at the financial and administrative level.
Fifth: Social and cultural reasons
1. Libya’s social cohesion is threatened by increasing tribal differences and regional strifes.
2. The number of internally displaced persons in Libya has grown as has the number of Libyan refugees abroad, who already face enough struggles and suffering.
3. Cultural and social components of libyan soceitu plaid virtually no role in the political process, while they could aid to bring about unity, especially with regard to the work of the Constitutional Drafting Committee.
4. The work of tribal leaders and elders and dignitaries could play an important role in advancing national reconciliation in Libya. Yet, their work lacks an institutional dimension and they do not have the capacities to play a more central role in advancing national reconciliation.
Sixth: Human rights reasons
1. The human rights situation in Libya has deteriorated. Gross human rights violations increasingly take place and the fundamental freedoms of citizens are disregarded.
2. Illegal detention is widespread in Libya, with armed groups taking hostages, executing prisoners without due process or fair trial and detainees dying while in custody.
Seventh: Constitutional and legal reasons
1. The illegal military coup of 1969 did not abolish the Constitution, but merely suspended it.
This suspension did not have a legal basis. From 1 September 1969 until today, no law has been passed in Libya which would have abolished the 1951 Constitution or its 1963 Amendments. Therefore, the Constitution remains valid.
2. The Constitutional Drafting Committee has failed to complete its task on time.
3. The return to the constitutional legitimacy would safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Libya and would allow the adoption and enactment of laws and regulations for Libya to enter into agreements and take on international obligations.
Eighth: Religious reasons
1. The moderate religious principles and values of the Senussi Movement are reflected in its practices, and is consolidated in its message of peace in resolving tribal disputes by peaceful means.
2. The return to constitutional legitimacy ensures that the principle of consultation and Shura is included in the political process and provides an opportunity for all political elites to engage in state building without exclusion or marginalization.
To be continued