East Libyans burn Gaddafi book, demand constitution

Wed Mar 2, 2011 5:43pm GMT

* Green Book outlines Gaddafi's political, economic ideas

* Protesters demand Libya adopt proper constitution

By Alexander Dziadosz

BENGHAZI, Libya, March 2 (Reuters) - Several hundred protesters burned copies of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's "Green Book" in the eastern city of Benghazi on Wednesday, an act of contempt unthinkable just three weeks ago.

The overthrow of Gaddafi's 41-year rule in much of the country's east last month has allowed many Libyans to lash out for the first time at what they see as an absurd and oppressive personality cult.

Protesters chanted, waved signs and danced as they tossed copies of the book, which outlines the ideas behind Gaddafi's "Third Universal Theory," onto a large fire, sending thick plumes of smoke and ash into the air.

"House by house, alley by alley, oh Muammar, oh you donkey," demonstrators chanted, ridiculing Gaddafi's pledge to cleanse the country "house by house".

Many demonstrators carried signs demanding Libya adopt a proper constitution. Others called for an end to "military rule" and to Gaddafi's "monopoly on authority".

Gaddafi's theory seeks to chart a course between Islamic doctrine and socialism. It outlines loose political and economic guidelines for running Libya, which has no formal constitution.   Continued...

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