HoR commences discussion of draft constitution and its referendum
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 26 June 2018:
The House of Representatives (HoR), Libya’s only internationally recognized parliament, held a session yesterday in which it started to debate the draft constitution and its referendum.
The HoR’s official spokesperson, Abdalla Belheeq, reported yesterday that the HoR had began debating the draft ‘‘article by article’’ in the presence of 78 members.
The debate was not concluded during yesterday’s session and will continue today, Belheeg added.
It will be recalled that the elected Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) had initially presented the HoR with its latest draft constitution in July 2017, but a (lower) court ruling in the eastern city of Beida in August of the same year had prevented the HoR from debating/approving the draft.
However, the Supreme Court subsequently overturned that ruling in February this year, clearing the way for the HoR to debate and vote on the draft constitution.
It must, nevertheless, also be kept in mind that the two ethnically Tebu members of the CDA had not voted in favour of the ‘‘approved’’ draft constitution. Under the existing voting rules, the constitution has to be accepted by at least one of the two CDA members from each of the three ethnic communities in Libya – the Amazigh, Tebu and Tuareg. In theory this voids the vote on the draft constitution.
Politically, it will be recalled that the 29 May 2018 joint communique issued by Faiez Serraj, Ageela Saleh, Khaled Mishri and Khalifa Hafter at the end of the Paris conference on Libya committed the above signatories to constitutional based elections, an electoral law to be passed by the HoR by 16 September 2018, Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections by 10 December 2018, an acceptance of the election results by all parties, an end to parallel state institutions and unified military and security institution.