Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Qaddafi's 40th Anniversary in Power
Qaddafi's 40th anniversary in charge of Libya has been foreshadowed by the release of Lockerbie Bomber al-Megrahi, and international condemnation of Libyan jubilant welcome of the convicted bomber. Amidst the lavish celebrations, the discussion should center on Qaddafi's record in office, especially in the last two decades where he has taken the oil-rich country down the path of economic and political stagnation. Agence France Presse (AFP) reports that promises of a written constitution and privatization of the state press are yet to be achieved. The aging colonel is seemingly bent on further cementing his authoritarian regime and laying the grounds for his son, and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam to take over the reigns of power in the Jamahirriya. In his defense, Seif al-Islam has advocated political reforms in the past, but it is premature to ascertain whether there is any real commitment behind that support.