State Council rejects HoR approval of Ghassan Salamé Action Plan
By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 23 November 2017:
The State Council claims that the House of Representatives (HoR) acceptance on Tuesday of UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé’s proposed action plan is illegal.
It says its stance is based on Article 12 of the Additional Provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) which states both the HoR and State Council must come to a consensus when considering amendments to the constitution.
As the HoR has now voted and accepted the Salamé proposals, the State Council feels it has effectively been bypassed.
It said it was committed to upholding Article 12 and said UNSMIL should do too. The comments came in a statement published after a State Council meeting yesterday.
The State Council said it remained focused on drafting a referendum bill in partnership with the HoR in accordance with Article 23 of the LPA. This states the HoR, State Council and Government of National Accord will “commit themselves to the promotion of cooperation and coordination between them” and establish a joint committee to propose laws on the referendum and general elections.
In yesterday’s session, talks were held on the possibility of holding elections within six months under the supervision of a government. Proposals were referred to its legal committee.
Meanwhile, Benghazi HoR member Issa Al-Oraibi accused State Council president Abdulrahmen Sewehli of being the obstacle in resolving the constitutional crisis.
Oraibi claimed Sewehli was upset because the proposals the HoR accepted diminished the role of the State Council president. Sewehli “is causing Libya to go to the abyss,” Oraibi stated.
In fact, despite the State Council’s claim that the HoR has acted illegally, the HoR did not vote to attach Salamé’s proposals to the Constitutional Declaration, thereby giving them the force of law. That would have gone against Artilce 12 of the LPA’s Additional Provisions. Nor was there a sufficient number of members present at the meeting to provide a quorum for such a move. The deputies present, variously put at 75 (by the HoR website) or 79 (by HoR deputies themselves) simply expressed their approval of the proposals.
The Constitutional Declaration still has to be officially amended to take them on board.