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1951 - Libya Declares Independence

1951 Libya Declares Independence

1951, December 24 - King Idris I formally declared the independence of Libya in a broadcast from the balcony of the Mahara palace in Benghazi today. It is just over two years since the United Nations set a time limit for Libya's independence at January 1, 1952. For the preceding six years, since the defeat of Axis forces in the area, the country had been administered by the French and the British: Fezzan by France and Cyrenaica and Tripolitania by the British.

The new constitution of the federal democratic kingdom provides for two legislative chambers: one elected on a proportional representation basis, and the other nominated. Elections to the new parliament will be held early next year. King Idris, 61, was chosen as ruler of the new state by a Libyan National Assembly which met last year.