A senior Libyan opposition official says the political transition in Libya will begin promptly following the downfall of Gaddafi regime
Mahmoud Jibril, spokesman for Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC), said on Wednesday that the body's focus is on a peaceful transition to democracy in the country.
Press TV interviews Fabri Malek, spokesperson of the Libyan Democratic Party, on what challenges lie ahead for Libyans and their aspirations for a democratic state.
Press TV: Is this the end for Gaddafi? Is the battle over? Will the Gaddafi forces re-emerge for revenge?
Malek: It is all over for Gaddafi, there is no doubt about that. What happened is a result of a deal [that] Gaddafi cut with the fundamentalists, with the Islamists, about three weeks ago and Seif al-Islam was telling us about it that he was conducting negotiations with the Islamists within the revolutionaries while the Islamists denied it.
The deal was that Gaddafi would be given safety in the tribe of Warfalla and his family would be under the protection of the tribe of Warfalla and Gaddafi would hand over power to the Islamists.
So now what we are seeing is that the Islamists in Libya are in control, almost in full control of the country, east and west and I am afraid that Libya is going fundamentalist.
Press TV: If we assume that deal has indeed taken place, then where does that leave the NATO forces in Libya?
Malek: The deal was that Gaddafi will have safety, he will not be killed and he will not be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) . Of course, we all know that he and other members of his family are wanted by the International Criminal Court, so he reached this deal with the fundamentalist, he wants to escape justice, he wants to remain alive with the Warfalla tribe who have supported him for the last forty two years and stood by him throughout the revolution while the Islamists will have a free hand in Libya.
We say in the Democratic Party that we need the help of the United Nations, we appeal to Mr. Obama, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Sarkozy, Mr. Berlusconi, and Mr. to intervene immediately.
Press TV: So you are saying that the NATO forces were not aware or aren't aware of this deal and are not aware now of the whereabouts of Gaddafi and that this is a deal just between Muammar Gaddafi's side and, as you say, the Islamists' side?
Malek: Of course they[NATO] are aware of where he is, they know about the deal. What is happening now is we need an intervention by the United Nations, we need a political mandate for establishing democracy in Libya; we Libyans cannot do it on our own.
The fundamentalists have no concept of democracy; we have seen them in Somalia, we have seen then in Sudan, we have seen them in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, they just cannot run a country; we need the United Nations' help, we need a mandate from the United Nations, we want to establish democracy in Libya.
Press TV: What have foreign powers been trying to achieve by sending advisers and equipment, cooperating closely with the NTC and talking of peace monitors? Do you think preparations are being made for foreign forces to stay in Libya for a long time?
Malek: I just want to add, concerning the capture of Mohammad Gaddafi and his brother Seif al-Islam, that they both were captured and released after that, they were released by the revolutionaries, by the al-Qaeda, as a part of a deal they struck with Gaddafi; Gaddafi gave them power and they are looking after him and his family.
Now regards to the West, what the West wants in Libya. There are two schools: one school says that Libya must remain a dictatorship and Libyans cannot have a democracy, and there is another school, the liberal school, which is for democracy in Libya. We appeal to those liberals, to friends of ours in the West, that this is a time for the West to make a stand for democracy in Libya. We don't want Libya to become al-Qaeda country, we don't want to go down the road of Somalia, this is going to be very bad not only for Libyans but it is going to be very bad for the whole Mediterranean region.
We need the UN to come to Libya, we don't want NATO, and we don't want troops on the ground. At some stage we will need peacekeeping troops from the UN and both Turkey and Indonesia have expressed their willingness to send troops. We want Libya to become a democracy and we cannot do it on our own.
Press TV: One question remains though; we are not very sure, from the media reports and all the confusing reports that we have been getting from Libya, where people stand in Libya; whether there is a divide among the people at all, one siding with pro-Gaddafi regime and troops and the other siding with the revolutionaries and NATO. Do you think that there is a big divide among the people in Libya and do you think that is going to affect the situation? Will all the various tribes be on the same page after Gaddafi is gone?
Malek: Like any other nation, we Libyans have our differences and we have our problems. Of course, after forty two years of Gaddafi's dictatorship, you would expect to have chaos and anarchy in the country, this is inevitable but the way to tackle that is to have political legitimacy.
The problem is the National Transitional Council lacks political legitimacy so it cannot fill the political vacuum. I say that simply because the most important figures in the National Transitional Council used to work for Gaddafi and the Libyans don't like that, this is the time to purge the Council so it becomes a true democratic Libyan entity, then it will have a major role to play in stabilizing Libya [and] in working with the United Nations for the establishment of democracy in the country.
Press TV: What are the prospects of a new Libya with a permanent mark of dependency on foreign military intervention? Some experts even have been raising the questions of legitimacy now?
Malek: We don't want foreign troops in Libya. We want the United Nations to help us. We don't want NATO to invade Libya and I don't believe that NATO wants to invade Libya but we are going to need the United Nations to help us.
One way the United Nations can help us is establishing a truth and reconciliation commission in Libya so that all those who committed crimes against the Libyan people for the past forty two years will come and confess to their crimes we need transparency; otherwise, we cannot establish democracy, the same people who ruled Libya for forty four years will continue to rule it for the next forty two years.