By Helen Chapin Metz; Library of Congress. Federal Research Division

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The United Nations and Libya 33 Libya INDEPENDENT LIBYA King Idris I, the first leader of independent Libya U der the constitution of October 1951, the federal monarchy of Libya was headed by King Idris as chief of state, with succession to his designated heirs. Substantial political power resided with the king. The executive arm of the government consisted of a prime minister and Council of Ministers designated by the king but also responsible to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of a bicameral legislature.

The nationalists lost their most effective leaders when Baruni defected to the Italians as a result of hostility between Arabs and Berbers, which Volpi successfully exploited, and Suwaythi was killed by his political rivals. In this situation, the Tripolitanian nationalists met with the Sanusis at Surt early in 1922 and offered to accept Idris as amir of Tripolitania. Idris had never sought any title other than the one he held in Cyrenaica, and he was not anxious to extend either his political influence or his religious leadership to northern Tripolitania, where neither he nor the Sanusi order was widely popular.

A four−power commission of investigation was appointed to ascertain what the Libyan people desired. Although the various regional parties split over the question of the future status of their respective provinces, the majority of Libyans favored independence. The commission, however, decided that the country was not ready for self−government. Other governments interested in the settlement of the problem, notably Italy and Egypt, were consulted. In all cases, conflicting interests prevented any solution, and in due course the Libyan question was placed on the agenda of the General Assembly.

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Libya : a country study by Helen Chapin Metz; Library of Congress. Federal Research Division

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