Insecurity Could Derail Transition
The 200-member GNC, an interim legislative body that convened following elections in July 2012, formally took the reins of government from the Transitional National Council in August. Mohammed al-Magariaf was elected president of the GNC, and will serve as head of state through the process of drafting a new constitution and holding fresh elections sometime in early 2014. Mustafa Abushagur, a veteran political figure who reputedly has ties to Libya’s Muslim Brotherhoods, narrowly defeated Mahmoud Jibril, a former rebel and leader of the mainly secular NFA bloc, in a parliamentary vote to choose a prime minister in mid-September.
Each of these events marks an important advance on the road to democracy. However, both the July voting and the election of Abushagur were accompanied by controversies that highlight the presence of multiple threats to political stability, including regional tensions, ideological differences, and a general state of insecurity, all of which pose obstacles to forming a stable majority government and any one of which might yet derail the transition before it reaches the next major milestones: the approval of a new constitution and the holding of fresh elections.
A majority coalition will of necessity be diverse and unwieldy, owing to the large number of independent lawmakers and tiny parties with only one or two representatives. Consequently, there is a high probability that negotiations over policy will be time-consuming and difficult, a prospect that does not inspire confidence that the government will act with appropriate urgency to address the many problems it inherits, chief among them a devastated economy and a high degree of social disorder.
The vote for prime minister came amid an eruption of anti-US protests triggered by Muslim outrage over a low-budget US-made film that satirizes the life of the Prophet Mohammed, and was held one day after a deadly attack that killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two diplomatic aides. The numerous competing theories surrounding the deaths of Stevens and his aides highlight the complexity of the security challenges inherited by the new government.
SUMMARY OF 18-MONTH FORECAST
REGIMES & PROBABILITIES
|*Reformist Coalition 45%||Prolonged Transition 40%||Divided State
|Turmoil||Very High||SLIGHTLY LESS||Same||SLIGHTLY MORE|
|Operations||Very High||LESS||SLIGHTLY LESS||Same|
|Repatriation||High||SLIGHTLY LESS||SLIGHTLY MORE||MORE|
|Other Barriers||High||SLIGHTLY LESS||Same||SLIGHTLY MORE|
|Payment Delays||High||SLIGHTLY LESS||SLIGHTLY MORE||MORE|
|Labor Costs||Low||SLIGHTLY MORE||SLIGHTLY MORE||Same|
|Foreign Debt||High||LESS||Same||SLIGHTLY MORE|
SUMMARY OF FIVE-YEAR FORECAST
REGIMES & PROBABILITIES
|*Reformist Coalition 45%||Military-Civilian 35%||Divided State
|Trade||Moderate||Same||SLIGHTLY MORE||SLIGHTLY MORE|
|* When present, indicates forecast of a new regime|
For more information, check out the Libya Full Report!