By Lorianne Updike Toler.
Tripoli, 13 February 2013:
The General National Congress (GNC) has approved a three-man committee today, Wednesday, to write the electoral law for the vote for Libya’s Constitutional Commission. The three, nominated by the GNC president’s office, are Sulaiman Zubi, Mohamed Abdullah Tumi and Shaaban Ali Issa Buseita.
The three represent Libya’s three historic regions – Cyrenaica, Fezzan and Tripolitania. The 60-member Commission is be made up of 20 members from each of the three regions.
Congressman Zubi is an independent from Benghazi who chaired the city’s electoral commission and a former judge. Congressman Tumi, from the southern town of Sebha, is a lawyer, heads the local bar association in Sebha, was on the recently dissolved Outreach Committee and has a reputation for being truly independent. Congressman Abuseita is an independent from Nalut, was Tripoli’s Attorney General from 1991-94 and is a Human Rights lawyer.
The president’s office also nominated an advisory legal committee of six non-Congressional members: Azza Maghur, Salwa Abuga’agees, Khalid Zelu, Koni Abouda, Hussain Baghdadi and Abdelsalam Abushaiba. This advisory committee was rejected by the GNC, however, because some were involved in drafting the previous electoral law or the Constitutional Declaration and did not constitute a balanced representation from the three regions.
Instead, the GNC decided that one from each of the 13 electoral constituencies should be on the committee. Members from each electoral district are to nominate a member by tomorrow morning, Thursday.
There was some disappointment with this move. “Had we approved the president’s choice, we would have had a committee to drive the process, but now it is going to be messy. The committee will be picked based on where they are from, rather than on experience,” said GNC member Alaeddin Al-Mgariaf (Independent, Benghazi).
Mgariaf also expressed doubts that the nominations would be made by tomorrow.
Hopes are being expressed that the law will be drafted within a month and that the election will take place after Ramadan (8 July – 7 August).