Istiqlal Party: Libya

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Political party of Tripolitania, Libya, 19481952.

Istiqlal (Independence party) was founded in 1948 by Salim al-Muntasir, former leader of the United National Front of Libya, from which many members were drawn. One of several political parties that briefly flourished under the British military administration at a time of intense debate about the future of Libya, the Istiqlal's influence belied a small following. It came under the patronage of a powerful lobby advocating renewed Italian rule in Tripolitania, activity the British authorities eventually suppressed. The party was a divisive element in Tripolitanian politics at a time when most of the province's leaders were trying to make a coherent case for Libyan unity and independence. It was one of four Tripolitanian political groups whose views on Libyan independence were heard by the United Nations in 1949. Like all other officially sanctioned parties, the Istiqlal was suppressed as a result of the disturbances that followed the first postindependence elections of February 1952.

see also libya; tripolitania.


Wright, John L. Libya, a Modern History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

john l. wright