By Sami Zaptia.
London, 27 December 2017:
The High State Council, the consultancy body created by the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), is working on a draft of a referendum law. The law is needed for a referendum of the Libyan public that would take place on the constitution – once the constitution is approved by the House of Representatives (HoR).
Critics of the move say that the HSC should not be proposing laws but simply consulting on proposals put forward by the HoR. Article 23 of the LPA prescribes that a joint HoR-HSC committee be formed to draft a referendum law and an election law.
Nevertheless, the move is seen as another nudge in the direction of the HoR to encourage it to enact its referendum law.
There has been public pressure on the existing political bodies to move the Libyan political process forward and out of the quagmire of its current transition phase which has lasted since 2011. One such public call is for the two deadlocked bodies to approve the draft constitution and put it forward to the public for a referendum vote.
It will be recalled that the High National Elections Council (HNEC) has commenced technical preparations for elections generally agreed to take place in 2018.