What Lies Ahead for Libya: An interview with the Prime Minister
Al-Keib expresses his views to Time Magazine in What Lies Ahead for Libya: An interview with the Prime Minister.
Keib suggested the best way to defuse the burgeoning crisis was to increase decentralization by empowering municipalities and provinces, and moving a number of government companies to marginalized regions. “People must feel that they are a part of the whole process and they are getting their share,” he explained.
His decentralized vision sounds much like the one Gaddafi tried and failed to implement in the late 1980s. In the wake of a 1986 American bombing, a vulnerable Gaddafi sought to spread out his government, bent on preventing a repeat of the devastating attack that paralyzed the capital. But after a few years, he returned the ministries back to Tripoli, when he realized that little work could be accomplished with institutions spread out over the vast desert country. Some analysts believe instituting a decentralized model today would undermine the fragile Libyan state rather than strengthening peripheral support. “It would weaken the central government, making it difficult to improve security and secure the nation’s borders,” explained Jason Pack, a researcher of Libyan History at Cambridge University.
Keib does not discount his country’s problems but he remains optimistic. “Libya is going through a lot of very difficult times now,” he said as he headed out for his last meal before sunrise. “But overall it’s OK. I guarantee you it will be much better in the near future.”