Libya Prepares for Mass Protest

By Rim al-Baraki for Al-Monitor, translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab). Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Libya Business News.

Libya Prepares for Mass Protest On Anniversary of Revolution

Two years have passed since the Feb. 17 Revolution. Libya is now at a crossroads, considered both dangerous and critical by Libyans. On the streets of Benghazi, where the first clashes of the revolution took place, ending with the toppling of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, passersby can hear the discussions of people enraged by the situation. However, this rage is coupled with fears of more bloodshed.

Different scenarios and projections of the Libyan situation have surfaced. Moreover, the political and security void caused by the fall of Gadhafi’s regime has turned into a crisis, deteriorating with time. Libya, which was known as the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, is now known as the State of Libya. This country has never known a party system, since parties were criminalized in the post-Gadhafi era, after having been prohibited during the monarchy. As a result, the void grew wider, while the conflict over power reached its peak amid an almost complete absence of political programs to calm the situation and reassure the citizens on the possibility of easing the situation.

With the deterioration of a situation that threatened to spiral out of the government’s control, the social-media pages revealed the launch of a “new revolution” known as the "Correction of the Path” on Feb. 15. Benghazi activists called upon each other to go down to the streets with their demands, primarily the dissolution of the General National Congress (parliament) and its re-election. However, experts in public affairs believed that an urgent referendum on the form of rule, along with the election of the 60-member constitutional committee, would decrease the tension in the country.

Yet, people demanding the "Correction of the Path" saw this step as insufficient, since activists of the new movement believed that the parliament and government were intentionally stalling and marginalizing the eastern region. They also indicated that the authorities have not made any serious decisions to improve the situation of citizens, provide social justice and fight corruption. There were also leaks reporting that the parliament might appoint the members of the committee instead of electing them, thus sparking fears that the ruling parties might form the committee from their own members.

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