By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 24 October 2017:
One of Benghazi’s members of the House of Representatives (HoR), Amal Bayu, died this morning. She had been suffering from cancer. She has been buried in Hawari cemetery. Condolences have been coming in from across the political spectrum, led by the HoR itself.
Her death robs it of an active campaigner who tried to promote compromise between the different factions, notably between those who boycotted the HoR and those who joined in.
She was extremely popular in Benghazi and had the distinction of having gained one the highest number of votes of anyone in the 2014 elections – 14,086. This was in an election where most members were elected with a thousand votes or less. Only Misrata’s Hanan Shalouf and former deputy prime minister Mustafa Abushagur had more votes than her.
With her death there are now at least three vacant seats in the HoR. Bayu’s fellow Benghazi member Yunis Fanoush resigned last year but it was only accepted this month. Abushagur has also resigned.
Unlike the case of the former General National Congress and local municipal councils where the candidate with the next highest number of votes is given the vacant seat, the rules for the HoR are there must be a by-election to choose a replacement.
Whether the HoR tells the High National Elections Commission to organise new polls in Benghazi remains to be seen.