Pessimism. Maybe of moderate intensity, but still pessimism. This is the feeling that I got a couple of weeks ago after attending a speech on Libya by political scientist Moncef Djaziri (Institute for Political and International Studies, University of Lausanne) at Barcelona’s European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). My pessimism was not drawn from what he said about the Libyan national identity, but because prospects for women there seem to be rather complicated. Because some progress achieved during Gaddafi era in relation to women’s rights are being lost. And because Djaziri understands that the most likely scenario is “an Islamic state” for Libya, a scenario that is “continuously enhanced” given that Islamists “are very well organized”.
I would say that Djaziri is not much satisfied with that prospect. From what he said, it seems that he would prefer another hypothesis for Liby’as future, what he calls “the republican state”. According to him, “there is not much chance” for this possibility to see the light of day, even if it has some level of support in Tripolitania, the region that was Gaddafi’s centre of power. Vested with large powers, a president “who embodied national identity” could be one of new Libya’s most powerful symbols. But, the professor recalls, this is not what Islamists want. They rather prefer a parliamentary system, “more coherent” with their political preferences.