Libya: transitional government-connected “exiled prince” advocates escalating war, reimposing pre-Gaddafi monarchy
Libya’s ‘exiled prince’ suggests monarchy’s return
AFP, April 20, 2011
Muhammad al-Senussi, the heir apparent to Libya’s overthrown monarch, voiced support Wednesday for the return of a constitutional monarchy to steer his country back to democracy.
Senussi told the European Parliament he was ready to help his country but that it was up to the Libyan people to choose their destiny if rebels prevail in their battle against Moamer Kadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship.
“Let me stress that it is up to the Libyan people to decide whether they go down the road of a constitutional monarchy or that of a republic,” he told the 27-nation European Union assembly.
Libya’s 1951 constitution, which was amended in 1963, created a constitutional monarchy with his great uncle, Idris al-Mahdi al-Senussi, as the king, who was later overthrown by Kadhafi.
“It may not have been active for 42 years but, suitably updated, it could form the basis of a new Libya,” the 48-year-old prince said.
“It is my belief that there is no more solid and sensible basis than the constitution available for political transition in Libya and neither is any likely to be agreed in the near term,” he added.
“My own duty is clear,” Senussi said.
“Whether the people want a return to a constitutional monarch or not, I will do everything I can to assist in creating a democratic state for Libyans based on a representative parliament chosen by free and fair elections.”
Senussi said he has good relations with the Transitional National Council, the opposition group based in the eastern city of Benghazi.
But while he said he supports any group “working in the people’s interest,” he stressed that the TNC is “just that — transitional.”
The prince said he expects the TNC to move to Tripoli whenever Kadhafi falls, but “the existing body will need to make way for a new council made up of representatives from all over Libya, so they can have a referendum to choose the form of government they desire.”
Senussi, who has lived in exile in Britain since 1988, was invited to Brussels by the parliament’s European Conservatives and Reformists Group, which includes British Prime Minister David Cameron’s party.
Libyan crown prince calls on world to do “more” against Gaddafi
Monsters & Critics, April 20, 2011
The exiled crown prince of Libya, whose family was ousted by Moamer Gaddafi four decades ago, Wednesday urged the international community to boost its economic sanctions and military action so the long-time ruler is ‘squeezed even tighter.’
‘Just a few months ago, no one envisaged a situation where Gaddafi would not rule Libya,’ Mohamed al-Senussi said as he met with members of the European Parliament.
‘Yet we are now thinking and talking about a transition process to a democratic Libya.’
Internationally backed rebels have been fighting for months to oust Gaddafi, who has retained control on the western part of the country, including the capital Tripoli.
NATO has deployed jets over the North African country since March to attack Gaddafi troops and military equipment under a United Nations mandate to protect the Libyan population.
‘I would like to thank the UN and NATO for their protection of civilians … (Gaddafi) only understands one language, the language of force,’ Senussi said. ‘But we want more in order to protect innocent people (and) … to put more pressure on Gaddafi.’
The Libyan opposition’s representative in Brussels, Ghasm Nagaa, also expressed frustration that NATO has not done more, for instance to target mercenaries recruited by the Gaddafi regime who he said ‘are left to circulate with a certain freedom.’
‘Libyans have started doubting the aims of NATO,’ he added, arguing that there are ‘hidden hands’ within the military alliance.
Senussi sidestepped questions on what more exactly he would like to see the international community do. But he did note that there currently is no support in Libya for a land-based military mission involving international troops.
‘I personally support any action that the Libyan people agree to,’ he said. ‘At the moment, the situation is very bad and may lead to other decisions being made on this.’
Senussi argued that the goal should be to ‘get rid’ of the security forces and mercenaries that he said are doing Gaddafi’s bidding, and eventually weaken him enough so that he leaves power.
The rebels have insisted on Gaddafi’s departure as a pre-condition for a ceasefire.