Tunisians acted in haste to bring about change: Gaddafi

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January 18, 2011 21:04

Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. Photo - Asmaa Wagiuh/Reuters

Who: Libyan autocrat Moammar Gaddafi.

What: The Libyan leader said neighbouring Tunisia suffers from bloodshed and lawlessness because its people acted in a haste to bring down their leader and the government. “I am very pained by what is happening in Tunisia,” Gaddafi said adding the country now lives in fear. “Families could be raided and slaughtered in their bedrooms and the citizens in the street killed as if it was the Bolshevik or the American revolution,” Gaddafi exhorted.

Where: He made the speech in the capital Tripoli and was reported by the official Jana news agency.

When: The speech was made public on Tuesday, 18 January.

Why: Gaddafi is in control of Libya since 1969 after he overthrew King Idris in a bloodless coup. “What is this for? To change Zine al-Abidine? Hasn’t he told you he would step down after three years? Be patient for three years and your son stays alive,” he said in his speech. Political analysts believe his own grip on power is shaken after the bloody events in Tunisia. Thousands of people have been demonstrating in the capital Tripoli for the last few days against the housing shortages for the working class.

How: Over the years, the Libyan government has run subsidised housing projects for the poor families in several cities but many people are unhappy over the corruption in such schemes. Gaddafi, toning down the recent dissent, suggested his model of rule will salvage Tunisia from the turmoil. The Third Universal Theory – which replaces representative democracy with direct rule by the people through institutions called popular committees – is the brainchild of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

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