[QODLink]
Archive
Qadhafi rules out political change
Muammar al-Qadhafi, the leader of Libya, has said that he will not let anyone "steal power from the people" and has urged supporters to "kill enemies" who call for political change.
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2006 03:40 GMT
Al-Qadhafi overthrew King Idris I 37 years ago
Muammar al-Qadhafi, the leader of Libya, has said that he will not let anyone "steal power from the people" and has urged supporters to "kill enemies" who call for political change.

The veteran leader's comments on Thursday, the eve of the 37th anniversary of the coup that overthrew the monarchy, will come as a disappointment to international observers who felt he may use the occasion to promote political change.

"When we led the revolution we did not want power for ourselves, but we assumed it for the people," al-Qadhafi said in a two-hour speech to top leaders at Al-Baida, 1,200km east of Tripoli.

"In consequence, we will not allow anyone to steal it from the people."

Al-Qadhafi's increasingly influential son, Saif al-Islam, recently told Libyans their country was in a political impasse and needed reforms to free it from what he called the grip of a "Libyan mafia" which monopolises power and wealth.

Oil reform

Saif lamented the fact that there was no "people power" in Libya  as called for by the Green Book penned by his father 30 years ago, which spells out al-Qadhafi's political ideology.

The oil companies "are controlled by foreigners and they have  made millions from them. Now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money", he said.  

The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and about one-quarter of GDP.

In an indictment of the state of Libyan society and its economy, Saif had said: "Let's stop kidding ourselves that we  are living in a paradise, one in which public sector officials act as though they own the companies they manage.  

"The beneficiaries of this chaos are a group of state employees and big wigs united in an unholy alliance resembling a mafia."

"Our enemies have been crushed inside Libya and you have to be ready to kill them if they emerge anew"

Muammar al-Qadhafi,
Libyan leader

With unemployment running at about 13 per cent last year, and half the population under the age of 20, Libya is in need  of investment to stimulate growth.

According to a recent official report, only $38 billion of the $50 billion earmarked for development projects between 1970 and 2003 had been spent.

Change ruled out

But al-Qadhafi said those who hope for political change in Libya inherently see its people as "ignorant and immature".

He said: "Our enemies have been crushed inside Libya and you have to be ready to kill them if they emerge anew."

Al-Qadhafi also called on Libyans to make their country more prosperous.

He said: "We have to set money aside to make the 1.1million relatively poor Libyans rich."

He proposed that poor Libyans set up oil services companies to replace foreign firms in the country.

"Foreign services companies working in Libya earn millions. Why do we not earn these millions which currently go to foreigners?"

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.