By Sami Zaptia.
London, 21 February 2018:
The Cyrenaica (Barqa) block of 18 members within the House of Representatives (HoR) have rejected the latest draft of the constitution to be discussed and voted on by the HoR.
In a video statement released yesterday, the block said that they oppose the holding of a referendum on the draft before the HoR and reject the legality of the whole Constitutional Drafting Authority (CDA). They interpreted the Tripoli High Court decision as having annulled the proceedings of the CDA. They, therefore do not see that the court decision has cleared the way forward for a vote on the latest draft. To this end, they called for an amended version of the Libya’s old royalist constitution to be adopted with some minor amendments.
The HoR Cyrenaica block were reacting to last week’s Tripoli High Court decision to overturn a Beida court ruling preventing the HoR from voting on the latest constitution draft and putting it forward for a public referendum.
The Cyrenaica block said that they had no confidence in any Tripoli-based institutions and referred to the HoR decision to transfer the High Court from Tripoli to Beida. They raised questions about irregularities in the National ID Number system and they also called for the High National Election Commission (HNEC) to be transferred to the east of Libya and for its members to be reselected.
On another note, reacting to a recent television interview by former General National Congress (the former parliament from 2012 to 2014) head Nuri Abu Sahmain, where he seemed to admit that militias in eastern Libya classified as terrorists by eastern powers were supported from Tripoli, the Cyrenaica block called for an investigation into the matter.
Finally, the Cyrenaica block objected to the continued systematic injustice, lack of equitable distribution of opportunities and of oil wealth, most of which is produced in the eastern region, to their region.