Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Libya: Poll - Libyans would prefer one-man-rule over democracy

SOURCE University of Oxford

The first ever National Survey of Libya suggests that the population would still prefer one-man-rule over alternatives like democracy. The publication of the survey of over 2,000 Libyan people coincides with the anniversary of the first protests triggered by rebel forces against Gaddafi, which ended after months of fighting when he was killed in October 2011. Despite the widespread hatred of the Gaddafi regime, this survey of public opinion reveals that in five years' time 35 percent would still like a strong leader or leaders for the country. Only 29 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer to live in a democracy. However, 69 percent of respondents also insisted that ordinary citizens should have a say in how the country should develop.

The face-to-face survey of a nationally representative sample of the population was conducted between December 2011 and January 2012 in a joint research project by the Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Oxford and Oxford Research International, a private research organization, in association with the University of Benghazi. It finds that the Libyan population is largely optimistic about the future with up to 8 out of 10 people expecting improvements in their personal lives, economic circumstances and their country.

Despite this apparent optimism, 16 percent of those surveyed said they were ready to resort to violence for political ends. This would mean that around 630,000 people were potential fighters, in addition to the 280,000 who previously took up arms.

The survey suggests that most people in Libya distrust political parties with respondents giving them only 27 percent of total trust. The most trusted institution was Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), which received 81 percent of total trust from respondents overall.