By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 10 March 2016:
An official with the Beida-based Constitution Drafting Assembly has confirmed to the Libya Herald that . . .[restrict]most members will go to Oman next week to continue its sessions there – about as far away from Libya as one can get without leaving the Arab world.
It is not known how many will go, however.
The numbers are crucial. Even though the CDA has 56 members rather than the full 60 envisaged (the Amazigh boycotted the 2014 vote and there was no election in Derna), decisions in the CDA require a two-thirds-plus-one majority based on the 60 figure, i.e. 41 votes.
As with the House of Representatives, the CDA has its boycotters, largely from the west of the country who feel that constant demands that posts be divided into three – for Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan – is unfair towards the Tripolitanians who account for some two-thirds of the population.
According to Tripoli lawyer Mohamed Tumi, a boycotting member of the CDA, there are 11 such boycotters. In addition, the two Tebu and two Tuareg members have suspended their participation because of what they see as discrimination within the CDA against their communities. That takes the boycotters to 19 and the rest to 41 – exactly the figure needed for votes to be valid. However, for that to happen would require all of them to turn up and vote. That is thought to be an unlikely scenario at present.
As a result, some CDA members are looking to see whether the two-thirds majority can be based on the 56 members actually elected rather than the theoretical 60. That would reduce the bar to 38.
There were also claims this week that the number of western boycotters has gone down from 11 to seven, but this has not been confirmed.
The move to Oman may yet find some members not going. Although the CDA can meet anywhere it choses, there is already public anger at the move, with questions being asked why the CDA cannot operate from a Libya base, such as Ghadames or Ghat. It may prompt some politically-savvy members to decide not to make the trip. [/restrict]