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Jakarta Post

The prospect of democracy in Libya

  • A. Agus Sriyono

Wellington   /   Thu, October 27 2011   /  08:00 am

The death of Muammar Qaddafi has elicited mixed reactions from the world’s political leaders. Most Western leaders have responded positively, while some have denounced the dictator’s brutal murder.

The bulk of world leadership, however, has decided to take a wait-and-see approach to this issue. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France explicitly stated that the death of Qaddafi has opened a new chapter of democracy in Libya.

Is it realistic to expect that democracy will prevail in Libya? The country is home to 6.6 million people who hail from at least 140 tribes and clans. The population of Libya is predominantly Muslim. Islam, therefore, becomes a way of life for the Libyan people. A persistent source of trouble for Libya has been its tribal culture. At this point, it should be acknowledged that Qaddafi’s 42-year authoritarian regime had been able to stabilize the count...