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New Libyan group calls for 1951 constitution and Idris Al-Senussi to be interim head of state

A group of Libyan lawyers, diplomats, political activists, doctors and businessmen from towns across the country has called for the restoration of the 1951 constitution and on Prince Idris Al-Senussi to become interim head of state.

At a meeting yesterday in Barcelona hosted by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Toledo International Centre for Peace (CITPax), the group said that Libya was dangerously split and that too many post-revolution figures were unable to put its interests above those of their community or themselves. In the situation, they declared, the country urgently needed an interim head of state who was not linked to any of its present divisions and disputes and who could act as a focus of unity and loyalty for all Libyans.

“To ensure the unity of the Libyans, and for the stability and security of the country, we call for the restoration of the Libyan constitution first promulgated on 7 October 1951, with amendments, and have asked Idris Al-Senussi to be interim head of state,” a statement read. As a member of the former ruling Senussi family and with no links to any single city or tribe, he could act as a unifying force, a Libyan lawyer at the meeting said.

Constituting themselves as the “Group Supporting a Roadmap for an Inclusive Libya in Peace”, they said they would be talking to the country’s mayors about the call, and planned to organise a conference with them during Ramadan.

“We do so taking into consideration all the Libyan community, inside and outside Libya, and with the sincere hope that all displaced Libyans can return in peace to their homes,” the statement said.

Bernardino Leon, the UN envoy, was not present at the meeting but sent his best wishes beforehand.

Many of those present asked that their names not be revealed at present for security reasons.

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