Amazigh Supreme Council calls for boycott of planned constitution referendum
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 26 July 2018:
The Amazigh Supreme Council of Libya (ASC), the main elected political body that represents the Libyan Amazigh ethnic minority, has called on all ‘‘Amazigh citizens to boycott the so-called referendum over a racist unjust draft constitution’’.
In a statement released Tuesday (24 July), the ASC said that with reference to its statement at the constitutional rights gathering and to its declaration regarding boycotting the constitutional process, it affirms it continued commitment to apply the concept of ‘‘we do not recognize those who do not recognize us’’.
The ASC added that they ‘‘shall not recognize the constitution resulting from this (planned) referendum, for it is an illegitimate document due to its violation of local and international conventions and treaties ratified by Libya’’.
Apportioning blame, the ASC said that they held ‘‘responsible the so-called Committee of 58, the House of Representatives, the High State Council, UNSMIL and everyone supporting this exclusionist project for the resulting lack of unity and instability in Libya’’.
The ASC added that those that support the push for this exclusionist constitution ‘‘went on applying procedures to issue a referendum, fully ignoring the lack of consensus with the Amazigh people as a genuine partner in constructing Libya’’.
Warning of a divisive period ahead, the statement went on to conclude that the ASC ‘‘announce that the forthcoming phase will be the beginning of a new political and social rift. It will be a turning point in the Amazigh political mechanisms, and this clear rejection of the Amazigh people as a genuine partner will force us to reciprocate such treatment’’.
It will be recalled that the ASC has boycotted the constitution drafting process and the 2014 Constitutional Drafting Authority elections.
Under the law setting up the CDA, its draft constitution has to be supported by two-thirds plus one of its members, and at least one each of the two members from the three ethnic minorities: the Amazigh, Tebu and Tuareg.
The two Tebu members have already come out against the draft constitution, thus theoretically invalidating it but the Amazigh do not have any CDA members having boycotted the elections to it in February 2014.
In August last year, the ASC said that it was considering declaring an interim constitution “to regulate” the country’s Amazigh areas.
However, the UN, France and other members of the international community seem to have chosen to overlook this detail and are keen that a constitution is adopted paving way for elections – as soon as possible.