By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 12 March 2014:
In a hectic day yesterday, apart from voting to withdraw confidence in Ali Zeidan and . . .[restrict]discussing elections to replace themselves, the General National Congress (GNC) also agreed to the consensus principle for minority rights and approved a budget for new regional building projects.
However, Congress did not make it clear what was defined within the consensus principle. Furthermore, there are no regions. Last year it postponed a decision to implement a system of regions or governorates.
The lack of a consensus principle has been a primary demand by the Amazigh, Tebus and Tuaregs to ensure that their languages and other rights were protected by the constitution. The failure to agree this was the primary motivation for Tebu and Amazigh boycotts of elections to the Constitutional Assembly.
GNC member for Obari Tahir Maknni, told the Libya Herald the principle would be defined in full and drafted at a later date. He said however that, now it had been agreed to in theory by Congress, there was no reason why another round of voting to elect representatives from the Tebu and Amazigh communities to the Constitutional Assembly should not go ahead.
Makni, a Tebu, was strongly criticised within his community as an outspoken opponent of the consensus principle. He claims that issues which cannot be decided unanimously will inevitably have to be passed in the Consitutional Assembly by a majority vote.
The decision to approve a budget for the development of new regional projects is a slightly bizarre one. Last year Congress postponed any decision on the creation of a regional level of government during disagreements between the GNC and former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.
This budget for new regional building projects is just one section of an overall budget proposed for regions, including budgets for salaries, maintenance on existing infrastructure and regional subsidies.