By Dr Milad ELHARATHI
Moscow State University
Political Science Department
Chair, Libyan Group of Strategic Studies and policy Formulation
Libya is experiencing huge political and leadership changes, as the new internal political processes continuing and taking place as in most Northern Africa’ society. However, since the formation of the Arab revolts, political and economic rebuilding attempts suffered from a setback because of certain internal and external factors. In addition, after the new development in Libya such as revolts and political reforms, the idea of functional economic theory becomes an essential factor for the new development in the Libyan society. Certain hypotheses introduced in this reporting essay as justifications for an urgent need for the quick transformation as needed. The core analysis of the essay is based on providing a combination analysis of the main theoretical themes of functional transformation. This essay is divided into the development priorities’ list is important as it: a major development priorities are: The Judiciary’s Independence, Good governance, Participation and Social integration, Health Improving, Developing human resources, participation in decision-making process, exposing economic, social and cultural policies.
The Concept of Rebuilding in the Status of Transformation
In the times of transformation and transition of any giving society priorities should be established. State building process takes longer time and further collective understanding and agreement because of the political currents and their role. The aim of this reporting essay is to lay down the ground for how new Libya can build its destination.
Rebuilding Libya after a revolution should be done according to a national development plan that includes all spheres which were either ignored by the old regime or have deteriorated as a result of exceptional circumstances in which the country live as a result of productive activities’ halt when most of the people are engaged in the revolution which represents for them a great event and a great hope, especially as they were accompanied by demonstrations and sit-ins due to factional demands, and due to difference between workers and company owners which lead to closing some factories and governmental facilities.
In addition, reality and limited potentials impose themselves forcibly, and the post-revolutionary government (PRG) has to draft a list of priorities that needs to start with, not only to meet necessary daily requirements for all the people but also for the production wheel to start anew in the right direction, and to realize a speedy return to satisfy the biggest number of the people, especially the needy and those of limited income.
Nevertheless, to start projects to rebuild the state on new revolutionary bases and with determined priorities needs huge of funds; even if there have been already feasible studies which in turn cost a lot of money and time. However, with some deterioration in productive sites that generate incomes such as tourism, exports and services, thinking to allocate necessary funds as soon as possible starts.
The only available financial source of Libya is energy income. Loans from international donors, if it’s as of tones with grace periods and less costly than domestic loans are encouraged. However, bearing in mind that some of the international loans have difficult conditionality concerning expenditure rationalization, and basic commodities; subsidies.
A matter of great importance and sensitivity is that the Revolution erupted in protest to certain rejected practices in international politics: such as the necessity to have independent national decisions, and in home politics: the necessity to provide means of living and basic needs for the people who is aspiring for improving their economic and social levels in the light of its sacrifices to achieve the Revolution’s objectives.
To draft a plan for development priorities needs understanding of available resources to help realize desired results. Local resources can be either local or international. Availability of resources may be an important factor in the necessity to put down priorities, and that needs field research and studies.
Moreover, national development strategy usually includes: security matters, good governance and economic development, as well as regional and international cooperation. Most important is to work for political reconciliation with the society’s spectra.
Ironically, it is crucial that the government is committed by a national strategy for development, and that one of its objectives is to empower the citizens and institutions to provide better services, to create job opportunities and sustainable development, to allow NGOs of the civil society to participate and to protect citizens’ rights.
The development priorities’ list is important as it:
– Explains to the people the government’s efforts to legitimize them and to secure stability to help implement its plans.
– Improving incomes, public services, providing more job opportunities, and strengthening capabilities for good governance.
– Government’s control of the development’s agenda in all fields.
Preparing a list of priorities and implementing it will spread a feeling of satisfaction for the Libyan citizens and the international community that there are serious efforts that are exerted to realize development, and not be satisfied with slogans only. The list includes good governance, providing security and peace, developing the private sector, developing human resources, developing infrastructures and agricultural and rural development.
– Developing human resources includes (developing skills, education for all, high education, women’s affairs and capacity building in health affairs).
– Development of infrastructures includes: generating local resources, industries, energy programs and urban development.
– Development of the private sector includes: trade facilities, small and medium enterprises, using Egyptian and Tunisia labor force and not exported ones.
– Good governance includes: economic and financial reform, transparency and accountability, rule based on efficiency and efficacy, local good governance, justice for all, respect of human rights.
The National Road Map
In the main time, there is need to draft a national road map to transform these concepts to tangible practical plans that can be implemented according to the available budget. Accordingly, all concerned ministers put down their proposals concerning these resources. Each proposal has objectives for the program and its component, and a definition of the strategy to achieve these objectives, with a timetable and explanation of the obstacles that each program may face and how to overcome them. It is important to devise a system for accountability to give warning indications monitoring the stages of implementation and development priorities that will offer benefits to all citizens.
The Major Development Priorities
Good governance: and improving responses and accountability as well as the services that are provided by the government or the institutions, besides the local governments bodies.
– Participation and social integration, which leads to the individuals and societies’ ability to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
– Health: improving the quality of health care and access to the services that aim at promoting the health of those who are physically, mentally and socially marginalized.
– Education: quality of education that improves the ability of formal and informal educational institutions to provide educational opportunities that contribute in alleviating poverty, and giving priority to provide job opportunities, alleviate poverty, decrease cost of living, and combating corruption.
– The Judiciary’s Independence: Independence of the Libyan Judiciary system means that the Judicial Power should be isolated from any other powers of the government. That means that courts should not be subjugated to any influence of any institution, body or council in the state or any persons or parties. There are several means to realize that, including selection of the judges and their appointment for life so as to enable them to concentrate on establishing justice and to judge in all cases according to the rules of the law, and according to what their conscience dictates, even if their judgments were not popularly accepted, or did not serve interests of certain groups or persons.
However, national development priorities differ from Libya to another state, but Libya should be confined, as a whole, to abolishing unemployment, providing job opportunities, alleviating poverty, reducing living costs, combating corruption, availability of food, combating crime and violence, combating narcotics, treating political instability, providing daily services such as drinking water, electricity in terms of securitization approaches, health care for all family members, endorsing equal rights between men and women, speech freedom in press, radio and television, and in seminars and conferences.
Furthermore, establishing security and acceleration of economic development is one of the priorities in rebuilding Libya after the revolution, and building a safe and stable society where the country’s wealth is owned by the people.
As a result, it is necessary to aim all classes of the society with fixed programs by providing real job opportunities that maximize the role of human resources in upgrading productivity and good quality to be able to export the surplus of products. It is vital to convince members of the society by the Media and seminars that development is done for their own interests and that will be asserted by asking every individual to play a role in that development, and to equally benefit of its results.
No doubt, putting citizens’ basic needs at the top of the national development priorities, broader popular participation in decision-making process, exposing economic, social and cultural policies to more studies through open public debates will lead to the best use of human resources, and make access to data and information, provide transparency in economic transactions, limelight all aspects of flaws and inefficiency in governmental departments and economic institutions and combat of corruption. All these should be done in a framework of democracy. Development process is not only affected by democracy but it also affects it. Democracy avails the framework that constitutes an intensive development.
Economic growth which includes a high degree of industrialization and value added contributes in transformation to democracy much more than selling or exporting raw material. Returns of raw oil sales do not per se lead to that transformation in the required speed and depth. Oil returns are accumulated by the state, and consequently increase the state’s power and bureaucracy as happens in some oil producing and exporting states.
Politically oriented, Libya, in the first election, after half a century to elect the members of the General National Conference (GNC), the results of the Libyan election was in contrast to the expectations of most analysts who betted on the Islamists’ victory as happened in both Egypt and Libya, as the general trend of the Arab Spring was in favor of the Islamists.
In contrast, the Libyan results came to rectify the political comps and correct the course of the whole Arab revolts, and proved that the Islamists were not the only ones in the ground. These elections returned confidence of followers of the democratic civil state, stressing that not Libyans are in favor of the Islamic rule. They are looking forward to a prosperous future for the modern Libya state: the state of institutions, a democratic constitution, a rule of the law, justice, rationality and living in peace with themselves and the world, as a state of stability, construction and development.
Political Islam and Election Politics in Libya
As for the reason of the Libyan exception, researchers and analysts summarized it that the Libyan people benefited of the experience of elections in Tunisia and Egypt and became more conscious and careful in their selection. They did not want to repeat the two experiences, which took the Islamists to power, to control the state’s institutions, to seize all its powers, not to fulfill their promises to the people and not to realize any success during their rule up till now, except the increase in congestion and wrath.
The Libyan people was fed up of exploiting religious and nationalist slogans during the old regime, which were void of content, and aspired to establish a civil state, the rule of the law and development of the country more than being interested to apply Shari’a. The Libyan people could distinguish between religious commitment and political Islam’s currents, which seek to rule in the name of religion. Religious commitment was something, while political religiousness is something else different.
The Libyan National Coalition (LNC) managed to achieve what the liberal forces in Tunisia and Egypt failed to do. Honest liberal, secular, nationalist and patriotic leaders, with the participation of moderate Islamists, formed that Coalition as well. That Coalition believes that societies today are built on knowledge and not ideology.
The Coalition succeeded in addressing the people in affairs, issues and problems from which the people suffer, and which formed their priorities, such as health, education, services, roads’ improvement and infrastructure, and raising living standards and all about development, economy, security and stability.
Finally, applying Islamic principles can realize the objectives of comprehensive economic development which aim at satisfying all the needs for individuals in the society and applying justice in distribution of all returns of these deals in a sound way. That is not impossible. It happens in developed countries that established democracy in the literal old Greek definition: “demos” meaning the people and “Karatia” meaning power, rule.
This draft of the reporting essay has been introduced in the Political Science Department, Moscow State University, April, 2013, during the regular course of the Arab Contemporary Political Development, Graduate level program.