One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule

The Independent reports: Almost a year after the start of the Libyan uprising that led to the ousting and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, new research suggests more than a third of its citizens would rather return to being ruled by a strongman than embrace democracy.

Despite thousands of deaths in the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi’s 40-year rule, fewer than a third of Libyans would welcome democracy, according to the study published by the Institute of Human Sciences, at the University of Oxford, and Oxford Research International.

Libya is traditionally a tribal society and there are concerns that the vacuum created by Colonel Gaddafi’s removal in October could lead to clashes between the factions that toppled him. In recent weeks, medical and human-rights groups have complained that the situation in parts of country is getting out of control.

The deaths of 12 detainees who lost their lives after being tortured by the various militias running law and order in towns and cities across country are documented in an Amnesty International report released today. The study follows last month’s decision by Médecins sans Frontières to halt operations in Misrata after being asked by officials to treat prisoners midway through torture sessions, allowing authorities to abuse the victims again.

Still, the survey found 35 per cent would still like a strong leader in five years’ time, although more than two-thirds wanted some say in future governance.

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One thought on “One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule

  1. hquain

    This is not the least surprising. Standard wisdom has it that about 1/3 of the population supported the American Revolution, 1/3 opposed it, and 1/3 wavered in the middle.

    Further, in a disorganized post-revolutionary state, there are good reasons to be nostalgic for stability and forgetful of what else it brought.

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