Muammar Qaddafi: Five ways Libya's leader has held onto power

What happens if Qaddafi is forced out?

Most alarming to those outside Libya are rumors that if Qaddafi is forced out, he will sabotage the country's oil pipelines. Europe relies heavily on Libyan oil. Time Magazine reports that an unnamed source close to Qaddafi says the leader has already ordered security forces to begin sabotaging the country's oil facilities, in an effort to convey to Libyans, "It's either me or chaos."

As for his successor, there is no clear idea of who would come next. A series of diplomatic cables written by the US ambassador to Libya make it clear that the country is a one-man show and that Qaddafi has been careful to prevent anyone, including his sons, from obtaining enough power to appear as a potential successor. Unlike Egypt, where names were floated even before President Hosni Mubarak resigned, there seems to be just confusion about who, if anyone, could step into the vacuum if Qaddafi stepped down.

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