The grandson of Libya’s last king Idris al-Senussi has called for the restoration of the country's 1951 post-independence Constitution, proposing that he himself lead the country’s transitional phase.
“The safest and most effective way to a swift resolution that satisfies everybody in Libya is to resort to the 1951 Constitution because it is the only constitution that … represents constitutional and legal legitimacy in the country,” Mohamed al-Senussi told a news conference in the Tunisian capital Tunis late Thursday, referring to the constitution Libya adopted in 1951 after its independence from Italian occupation.
On how to implement this solution, al-Senussi said it must be done "under the auspices and leadership of a national consensus figure with social, historical, and political dimensions agreed to by all, and having no role in the current conflict.”
He added: “I offer myself to play this role in a transitional phase through which the restructuring and building the state will take place”.
In October 1951, the Libyan National Assembly passed the country's first Constitution, establishing a royal monarchy, with King Idris as its first head.
The monarchy and the constitution were abolished in 1969, after Col. Muammar Gaddafi overthrew the king in a coup.
Al-Senussi said he does not seek to restore the monarchy through this initiative nor establish himself as a new king, but to “leave the freedom of choice to the Libyan people".
According to Al-Senussi, holding elections next year will not be possible “due to the difficult security situation”.
During a meeting in Paris on July 25, according to French President Manuel Macron, the head of Libya's UN-backed unity government, Fayez al-Sarraj, and the commander of the self-styled "Libyan National Army” Khalifa Haftar -- linked to the Tobruk-based parliament -- agreed to a cease-fire, disarmament, the establishment of a unified army under civilian command, and holding parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018.
Libya has been locked in a state of violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody popular uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Since then, the oil-rich country's long-simmering social and political divisions have yielded three rival seats of government and a host of competing militia groups.