By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 24 January 2022:
An unholy alliance of some of Libya’s leading pro status quo political forces attended a Tripoli event yesterday purporting to support the need for the new Libyan constitution.
The symposium entitled “The Constitution First” was attended by Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, High State Council (HSC) head Khalid Mishri, Audit Bureau head Khalid Shakshak, Central Bank of Libya Governor, Sadek El-Kaber – all deemed to be agents for the status quo and the indefinite postponement of elections.
Other attendees included Presidency Council Deputy Abdalla Lafi, House of Representatives First Deputy Speaker Fawzi Al-Nuwairi, and the head of the High Court Mohamed Al-Hafi.
Aldabaiba stressed in his speech that legitimacy is for the Libyan people alone to decide and not others, and that Libya is in dire need today for a constitution that protects the nation and the citizen.
He also stressed that the Libyan people are eagerly looking forward to holding free and fair elections in which there is no discrimination or exclusion, noting that we do not want to prolong the crisis and enter a new transitional phase.
Aldabaiba said, “Leave the Libyan people to choose what they want and support their choice in the presence of a real constitution that derives its legitimacy from the people and the people only.”
He appealed to all Libyans to be on time and to adhere to the electoral constitutional entitlement and not to allow the (transitional) phase to be prolonged again and not to allow the will of the Libyan people to be usurped, and not to let the absurd people tamper with their prosperous future.
The Amazigh view
Nevertheless, a spanner was thrown into the well-orchestrated event by the Mayor of Zuwara. He reminded that while his people were for constitutionality, they still do not support all the articles in the current draft constitution. This was a timely reminder that the current draft constitution is not accepted by many Libyans – a fact well known by the sham supporters of the current draft constitution.
The event has raised eyebrows in Libya over the mix of those who attended the event and their blatant hypocrisy. The presence of some at the event signalled a huge danger for the future of the rule of law and constitutionality in Libya.
Libyans did not fail to comment on the fact that Prime Minister Aldabaiba was calling for legality and constitutionality when he stood for elections in the presidential race – even though the election would not have been constitutionally based.
He also failed to live up to his vow at the Geneva Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) to not stand for the 24 December elections . Aldabaiba also failed to give up his post as Prime Minister for the whole three months prior to the 24 December – as prescribed by the election law.
They also recalled that CBL Governor El-Kaber had been sacked twice by parliament yet has refused to give up his post and that Audit Bureau head Shakshak has had his term in office renewed beyond the legally allowed period.
Khaled Mishri heads the unelected HSC which was a political creation of the 2015 Skhirat Libyan Political Agreement. It has never been subjected to an election. El-Kaber, Shakshak and Mishri would be expected to lose their jobs if an election were ever held. Their calls for a constitution as a prerequisite to holding elections rings hollow and is seen as delaying tactics to avoid ever having elections.
But the most disturbing element of the so-called pro constitution sham event was the unexplained presence of the head of the High Court. Libyans were extremely disturbed by his presence. Some accused him of being naïve and being roped into a politicised event – others question his fitness to continue to be the head of the High Court.