With Gaddafi’s death, capture or flight imminent, it is time to look beyond the rebellion, and forward to the post-Gaddafi future. How will the West react? What will happen in Libya?

If the rebels capture Gaddafi, he cannot be executed or dealt with internally. Gaddafi must be taken to the International Criminal Court. Saif, as he has already been captured, should be handed over as soon as possibly. This should be the only demand of the West, that he is tried for his crimes on an international stage. This, to my mind, is crucial to a country’s development into a modern, progressive, democracy.

We obviously cannot make material demands such as oil supplies. It is enough to have a stable, oil-producing ally. Already, oil prices have fallen by nearly $3 a barrel in expectation of the boost in production following a Western-ally in a stable Libya. We cannot make demands. We must allow Libya to rebuild on its own terms. We must, through the UN (with EU states taking a leading role), offer any support we can, developing a new society must be done on Libyan terms. The revolution was Libyan. So must creating a new Libya.

On that understanding, that the new Libya be created by new Libyans… we have to wonder what the master plan is?

The National Transitional Council, the recognised government by at least 30 other states, and largest organisation in the rebel movement, has released a 37-point interim ‘constitutional declaration’. Under their transitional plan, once Tripoli is stable, they would hold elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months. Then, said assembly would appoint a new interim government and draft a new constitution – this constitution would be subject to a national referendum, similar to in Egypt. Following this, we could hope for direct elections for government would take place within 20 months.

This seems to be a good plan. As long as it works. As long as everyone agrees. The first thing the NTC really needs to do is ensure that they are the dominant force in Libyan politics. Many groups are muttering dissent, and many are acting out of a desire to oppose Gaddafi… not install the NTC. There are huge tribal divides. The NTC needs to monitor all these possible fractures in Libyan society, to lead the country through to free and fair elections, and a new Libya.

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