The world’s governance systems are extremely complex; It is multiple and changing over the ages. After centuries of wars in this land because of these regimes that are not compatible with each other, a system was established called the “democratic” system; It is the equal participation of the qualified masses in governance. Democracy in a broader sense is a distinctive social system that society believes in and follows. It refers to a political and moral culture in which concepts related to the necessity of peaceful and periodic transfer of power are manifested. Despite the multiplicity of forms of democracy today in many forms, most notably “direct democracy and representative democracy,” its recent history in Libya has made Libyans not fully understand its details and background; Because it came as a response to resentment and abuse of power and the unilateral rule by one person that lasted for four decades.
Democracy in the shadow of tyranny that lasted four decades?
Libya has lived dependent on its society, discouraging the resolve of its young men and women, and harvesting the spirit of its renaissance and progress. Since the military coup in 1969 and Gaddafi’s seizure of power, the features of democracy have vanished, and even disappeared, with the absence of the Libyan citizen’s civil rights. During his rule, Gaddafi was able to succeed in imposing his security and military grip and was eliminating every voice calling for his rights and seeing him as a threat to his rule, and even describing it as high treason. After the campaigns of murder and executions launched by the regime throughout the period of his rule, mouths became silent and eyes softened about demanding their rights. Rather, Libyans became afraid to mention Gaddafi’s name on their tongue so that his deadly bullet would not reach them, which does not differentiate between old and young, man or woman. Despite Gaddafi’s famous saying “power, revolution and weapons are in the hands of the people,” they were loose slogans that he promoted to restrain the citizen and make him live in a world of absolute illusion and to ensure that he does not interfere in the affairs of the state and criticize it.
Was democracy in Libya enjoyed by a people with a democratic culture after the revolution of the seventeenth of February?
The first experiences in a people’s life are always engraved with problems and errors; From this point of view, the democratic experience in Libya in all its forms without legislative restrictions has made the people not understand its alphabet in the required manner, despite the awareness campaigns launched after the February 17 revolution that reinforce the values and concepts of democracy, but they have not reached their peak and goal so far. After the revolution, all Libyans lived “east, west and south” with democracy with all its negatives and positives, and they were overwhelmed with joy; They began exercising their civil rights after decades of persecution and marginalization, until a military operation was launched in the east of the country in 2014, which changed the concept of democracy among the Libyan people; Where some of them turned against those who ruled eastern Libya with fire and iron and became seeing him as the savior and he must be installed as ruler of Libya, even if he repeated Gaddafi’s experience in silencing and persecution and he hit all concepts of democracy to the wall, and others are still clinging to what they revolted for in 2011 and did not give up the principles of democracy And their rights that they want to exercise after being taken from them for years.
And despite their wrong choices; Beginning with the National Congress elections in 2012 and ending with the election of the House of Representatives in 2014 due to the lack of saturation with democratic culture and knowledge of their rights and duties, however, giving up this right has become unacceptable, and the best evidence is their refusal to return the country to militarization when Khalifa Haftar launched his illegal campaign against the capital, Tripoli, in a year 2019.
The role of civil society in consolidating the concept of democracy and putting pressure on regimes
Civil society has played an important role in democratic awareness. Since 2011, campaigns, courses and workshops on this matter have begun to increase. However, Libyans have not been saturated with this culture as required for intellectual maturity. Civil society, despite its limited capabilities, was the main reason for instilling democratic concepts in the citizen. Nevertheless, we still aspire to have a greater role so that we can truly say that the Libyans have reached the peak of understanding democracy and have become responsible in assuming their duties and rights.
After all these experiences of the Libyan people over a period of about 10 years, the collective intellectual maturity is ready for a new democratic experiment, and most of them realize that the choice should be based on competencies and not on tribal quotas, for whoever comes on the basis of quotas and tribe or corrupt money will not be able to provide anything Rather, the intellectually stable one who will gain his legitimacy from the people will have a great responsibility before those who brought him to office, and we are today on the cusp of new “parliamentary and presidential” elections, the details of which will soon be lived by Libyans, and they must make a good choice so that we can get out of the closed loop that we have lived through for years.