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The City State


By: Senussi Bsaikri*

In last week’s article, we pointed at difficulties ahead of the hopes of UN special envoy, Bernardino Leon, in making the round of talks, launched last week in Skhirat, the last one.SenussiBsaikri

Despite the optimistic atmosphere that prevailed in the first meeting of the talks round, which was expressed confidently by both sides’ envoys, statements envoys issued after returning revealed a highly complicated situation that can’t be dismantled within the time limit decided by Leon.

In response to difficulties resulting from both sides’ stubbornness, several actors, including people from the 2 conflicting sides, started to suggest alternative road maps to the talks that include the following:

      Resuming the talks without the General National Congress, GNC, including the parties that signed with initial letters on the draft, and forming the national accord government.

      The parliament puts a road map, and continues to supervise running the country till holding the constitutional referendum.

      Holding new parliamentary elections.

       Handing over authority to the Supreme Court which chooses an executive authority to run the country till holding the next constitutional referendum.

      Forming a Supreme Military Council until adopting the constitution.

      Handing over the power to the rebels till adopting constitution.

      Applying federation, or dividing the country upon geographical and historical basis (three regions).

But, each of the previous alternatives faces huge challenges, and it may be hard for any of it to be the solution to the crisis for a simple reason; that each one represents the aspirations of one party with no intersection with other parties. The absence of the GNC from any consensus is a huge problem, since it represents a miscellaneous political and military sector, which isn’t a small ignorable one. As for extending the HoR’s term; it faces its challenge in its own camp; Tobrok, al-Baida and al-Marg, before outside. About holding new elections; political and security situations’ complexities doesn’t allow it to be an alternative that produces good representatives for all Libyans, in all regions. On the same base; handing over power to the Supreme Court is hard to receive consent from Tobrok, given the current form of the court. Evidence is the refusal of HoR to the court’s verdict of dissolving it; even re-structuring it is a similar dilemma to the current talks, and it won’t be easy to agree on. Military Council and rebels are a huge dispute and many civil and military actors expressed their rejection of it.

The alternative of federation or division may be a reality not an option; given the current situation of each region’s military and political system control over its fate. The difficulty of this path doesn’t differ much from the problems of the case of one state with one authority, parliament, and security force.

The problems rooted in each one of the 3 regions would make it difficult to reach consensus in management. For example; the current state inside Barqa, which includes the federation supporters, and was the first city to call for it since the first days of February revolution, makes it hard to reach a political agreement on a political and managerial form between all of its components. The conflict between Al-Jadhran and Haftar is an example for the difficulty to run the oil sector; other sectors are measurable on this.

In the shadows of the continuing aggravation, failure of centralized efforts to dissolve the crisis, and difficulty of achieving consensus among elements across the country or regions, concentrating on managing the cities by its elements, indiscriminately, can be a successful, temporary, and short-term alternative through elected local councils. This approach minimizes challenges and technical problems ahead of consensus. However, resources and its distribution for the success of the “City State” approach can still form a problem; the UN can perform a role in arranging the distribution of resources according to demographic and geographical factors.

The “City State” is an exceptional temporary short-term alternative that can speed up the security stability in cities, facilitate the recovery of the economy and services, while guaranteeing that they aren’t independent as for the fear of regions. As soon as the stability achieved in the majority or the most important cities in East, West, and South, it will be easy to agree upon the political and managerial form across the state according to the constitutional referendum results that can be possible through this approach.

*A Libyan Writer

Translated By LIBYAPROSPECT: source