By Taziz Hasairi.
Tripoli, 12 April 2014:
The Amazigh Supreme Council (ASC) has said it will not cooperate with plans to elect the . . .[restrict]13 remaining seats for the Constitutional Assembly, left vacant after the February elections because of boycotts, violence or threats of violence.
The General National Congress last month voted to instruct the Higher National Elections Commission (HNEC) to organise fresh polls in the affected constituencies and
HNEC announced on Wednesday that it had restarted registration for candidates for the 13 seats, including the two seats reserved for Amazighs who had boycotted the entire electoral process in February. It said potential candidates should register in either its Jadu or Ghariyan centres for the seats representing Zuwara and the Jebel Akhdar.
However the ASC has said it has no intention of accepting the decision. The head of the council, Ibrahim Makhlouf, told the Libya Herald that these kinds of “half measures” would not be tolerated and that the Amazigh had made clear their demands to HNEC and the General National Congress (GNC) many times.
ASC member Yousef Hasairi said the decision to reopen registration at this point was not only a waste of time but also disrespectful. He said it was clear authorities were attempting to obfuscate the problem by not opening a registration office in Zuwara, the main Amazigh town and centre of one of the two seats reserved for the Amazigh
The ASC has said it will continue to boycott the constitutional assembly until the authorities accept a consensus principle. They stipulate that at least two-thirds of the entire 60-member assembly including all six Amazigh, Tebu and Tuareg members would have to agree to the proposals in the draft constitution on the name of the state (e.g. State of Libya, Republic of Libya or whatever), its identity, flag, national anthem and language(s) if they were to participate.
While the GNC voted last month to accept the consensus principle, the vote was widely dismissed by leading minority organisations because it was not properly defined. The deadlock over the issue means there will be further delays in the work of the Constitutional Assembly which cannot start its work of drafting the constitution until all 60 members take their seats. [/restrict]