By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 6 July:
The head of the of Union for Homeland party, Aburrahman Sewelhi, has attacked the last-minute decision by the NTC to remove responsibility for appointing the commission that will devise the country’s new constitution from the National Conference. “Its another step in the wrong direction,” he told Libya Herald.
On Thursday, the NTC shocked the country by passing a law under which the 60-member commission will now be directly elected.
The move was an attempt to placate the federalists who have been campaigning against tomorrow’s elections on the basis that Conference should represent the three historic regions of Libya (Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan) equally and not be based on demographics. Under Constitutional Amendment No 3, passed yesterday, the 60-member commission will now comprise 20 delagates from each of the three regions.
“This won’t not make any difference to the federalists. They want much more than that,” said Sewehli. “They want to go back to the 1951 constitution and divide Libya into three.”
Sewehli said that he expected the federalists to try and disrupt the election tomorrow, Saturday, to prevent people voting. He said that he had tried to reason with them but to no avail. “They want to stop the elections.”
His analysis of the situation appears to be confirmed by the fact that following NTC decision, the federalists have blockaded five major oil terminals.
As to whether the National Conference will repeal with NTC’s new law, Sewehli said that that there would “no question” that it would have the right to do so if it wished. “It can be overturned.” However, he did not know whether there would be enough support for that. It would depend on who is elected. “The National Conference will do what it thinks is best,” he said.