By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 6 November 2014: The international response to the Supreme Court’s ruling as unconstitutional, the House of Representatives and . . .[restrict]the election that brought it into being has been muted. Until today the HoR in Tobruk and the Thinni government that it appointed, have been recognised as the sole legitimate parliamentary and administrative authority. The court’s decision presents a diplomatic challenge, as well as seemingly deepening the political divisions in the country. There appears to have been some international consultation on who should lead the responses to the judgement, whichever way it went. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) produced a statement this afternoon, saying that it was studying the ruling closely. “In this regard, UNSMIL is consulting closely with Libyan stakeholders across the political spectrum and with international partners”. The statement continued: “At this critical moment, UNSMIL calls on all parties to place the national interest above all other considerations. Reiterating its commitment to Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the United Nations underscores the need for all to act responsibly and desist from taking any action that would escalate the existing polarisation or result in a further deterioration of the security situation”.
It said that UNSMIL chief and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon would once again be consulting with all main stakeholders.
It was clear however that some diplomats are concerned that the Supreme Court may have been acting under some sort of duress. But as one envoy pointed out, the international community has been urging the rule of law be established in Libya. As the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court’s judgement, even though it flew in the face of the international opinion that the HoR was the sole legitimate parliament, had to be treated with respect.
One diplomat speaking off the record told the Libya Herald: “It appears that the ruling will be final and that every decision made with regards to elections to the House of Representatives after the GNC vote on the February Committee recommendations, was illegal. The Supreme Court’s decision appears to be final with no opportunity for an appeal”. [/restrict]