Libya's road to democracy


Libyan flag. (Photo: Flickr user Collin David Anderson)

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President Obama said today that Gadhafi's regime is coming to an end. He directed his words to the people of Libya: "Your revolution is your own, and your sacrifices have been extraordinary. Now, the Libya you deserve is within your reach. Going forward, we will stay in close coordination to the NTC to support that outcome."

The president was referring to the National Transitional Council of the Libyan opposition. The head of the TNC said today that his group wants a nation built on the principles of freedom, equality and transparency.

But the Libyan rebel movement includes Islamists, former government insiders and Western-leaning intellectuals, and there are concerns about whether those factions can work together.

George Joffe, a North Africa expert from Cambridge University, told The World that a democratic future for Libya would require the country to build an entirely new system of governance.

"There's still the question of constructing inside Libya, a viable set of institutions that would allow the country to look forward to a democratic future," Joffe said. "Libyans have not had the opportunity for 40 years to actually organize a system of governance that allows them democratic participation."

View President Obama's statement on Libya:

More on Libya:
> Libyan rebels take Tripoli, capturing Gadhafi’s sons


PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More about The World.