Libya: Let Gadhafi Stay as Figurehead

Government proposal warns that without Gadhafi, instability could follow
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2011 8:38 AM CDT
Libya Unrest: Government Proposes Moammar Gadhafi Stay, as Figurehead
In this Monday, Nov. 3, 2008 file photo, Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi attends a wreath laying ceremony in the Belarus capital Minsk.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)

(Newser) – Just one day after President Obama and British PM David Cameron declared that Moammar Gadhafi has got to go, the Libyan government is proposing that he stay—as a figurehead only. Though Libyan rebels are likely to scoff at the suggestion, the government is playing on fears of instability and warns that without Gadhafi, the nation could fall into chaos similar to what happened in Iraq. Gadhafi, the chief government spokesperson states, “is willing to be part of a constitution that gives him no executive powers whatsoever,” thus ensuring a peaceful transition to democracy.

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The fact that Gadhafi’s aides are floating such an idea is a sign that his prospects have dimmed even further, the Los Angeles Times notes. His government has lost control, is bombed nightly, and is dealing with fuel shortages and lessening popular support. By allowing him to remain in the country as a figurehead, the government’s proposal will ensure that Gadhafi escapes the any arrest warrants that could come from the International Criminal Court. The government is counting on the fact that NATO will eventually grow weary of bombing and become open to negotiation, analysts say. Interestingly, the Independent has a copy of a different proposal—this one from Libya’s prime minister—that offers a ceasefire, talks with the opposition, amnesty, and a new constitution, but does not mention Gadhafi’s role. (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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