Finally an elected Libyan cabinet, but is it fearsome enough to govern?
My latest opinion piece for AJE asks the question, “Finally an elected Libyan cabinet, but is it fearsome enough to govern?” When all the ministers are finally sworn in after delays, more delays, further delays, investigations, and possible replacements, I hope that we have the chance to answer in the affirmative.
After yet another last minute delay, it now appears that on November 14th, Libya’s first elected cabinet will finally be sworn into office, possibly without six key ministers who are under investigation. They will replace the interim non-elected one which should have been replaced nearly two months ago and has been governing as a lame-duck since July…After this wearying wait, the prevailing wisdom is that the new cabinet will combine technocratic competence with the full legitimacy of being selected by an electoral body, and Libya’s most intractable problems can finally be tackled head on….Until now, none of the leaders of post-Gaddafi Libya (elected or unelected, military or civilian) have shown the ability to put aside their factional or personal interests and take the bold steps the country needs. Will Ali Zidan’s government be able to provide that? The jury is still out.
It is a positive sign that Ali Zidan has refused to give in to militia demands to reshuffle his cabinet immediately but instead will wait for the committee to make its recommendations, showing that in a few instances, the legitimate central government can stand up to the self-appointed armed few.
We assert [that] the GNC cannot blame the security situation for its inability to create jobs and rebuild Libya. It must use its control over the oil spigots and purse strings in a clever manner to lead the country forward into a brighter future.
The GNC and the new government have the elected mandate to lead. They can only do so successfully if they encourage citizens to exercise their right to political participation without allowing a minority to resort to making demands at the point of a gun and subverting Libya’s transition to democracy in the process.