By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 26 February 2015:
The Constitutional Drafting Assembly is not moving from . . .[restrict]its original Beida base, its president Ali Tarhuni said this evening, refuting earlier reports that it had decided to quit the overcrowded town.
It had been said that the CDA had voted 18 to 12 to move out of Beida because of poor communications, unreliable power supply and security concerns. There are unconfirmed reports that one of the 54 CDA members, Zeyneb Al-Zayedi was earlier this week roughed up when she was passing through Labraq Airport.
According to normally reliable sources, the Assembly was due to be quitting the old parliament building in Beida, possibly to relocate to Malta. However Tarhuni went on TV this evening to say that the CDA was staying where it was, in Beida.
It is not entirely clear how this confusion came about. A group of CDA members is currently in Geneva taking part in a seminar. The vote among the members still in Beida, if it did indeed take place as widely reported, would appear to be irregular since only just over a half of the members was present for the ballot. It did not prove possible to contact any of the CDA members who had gone Geneva.
The key body charged with producing the new constitution is nominally 60-strong. However the boycott by the Amazigh community means that six of the seats are unfilled. Last September the Assembly invited responses to its draft constitution document. This process closed in January.
The Assembly is now busy examining all the submissions. Meanwhile there is a push to persuade the Amazigh to reverse their original boycott of the Assembly and produce the missing six members, before the final document is produced.
One person close to the assembly told the Libya Herald: “The Amazigh have sent people to Beida to talk about their joining the process. We are hopeful this initiative will succeed. However the draft constitution already makes a point of recognising minority rights of the Amazigh as well as the Tebu and Tuareg”.
The source went on to say that it was unlikely the Amazigh could extract any further concessions from the CDA, since the provisions for minorities in the draft document were already generous. [/restrict]