The House of Representatives (HoR) and High State Council (HSC) Joint Committee reached an initial consensus on 137 articles of the draft Libyan constitution during their second round of talks held in Cairo between 15 to 20 May, UNSMIL reported.
The talks are intended to agree on a constitution based on which elections will be held – the first since 2014 – to take the country out of its interim political phase. The 11-year interim phase, since the 2011 revolution that ended the 42-year Qaddafi regime, has produced very weak governments and state institutions. This has left the country very unstable. A constitutionally based election is hoped to produce a government with strong legitimacy and mandate.
In her closing remarks at the talks yesterday, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General Stephanie Williams said ‘‘Over the past six days, I have sat with you, and I have witnessed extensive consultations and positive discussions between you members of the Joint Committee between the House of Representatives and the High Council of State on Constitutional Track. You met to discuss and to achieve consensus on a number of key issues linked to the Constitutional Track.
I respect and appreciate the efforts you have made in tangibly moving these consultations forward, and to continue jointly to seek and cultivate consensus and constructive solutions for the points of contentI am really pleased that the Joint Committee was able to reach this initial consensus on 137 articles, and I am particularly pleased that you were able to agree on Chapter 2 on the rights and freedoms, as well as on the Chapters on legislative and judicial authority, with the exception of a handful of articles. Indeed, you were able to have an initial agreement on many articles of the Draft Constitution. This demonstrates that you have shown commitment, and I strongly encourage you to continue your consultations toward reaching the final consensus on the remaining articles.
I also appreciate that this all is a work in progress, but in all of this, we have to keep in mind that the Libyan people are looking to this Committee with high hopes and expectations that your work will conclude and lead to a full agreement to enable the holding of national, comprehensive, and inclusive elections as soon as possible. I don’t need to tell you that these elections will fulfill the aspirations of over 7 million of your compatriots, fellow Libyans, who have the internationally recognized fundamental right to go to the ballot box and to elect those who represent them in presidential and legislative elections. We can’t let them down. We need to end this long transitional period that your country has witnessed over the last 11 years and we need to do it within a firm constitutional framework.
I again commend you on the progress made while also you remain conscious of the amount of work that you have left to do here in this period between now and the next session when we will gather on 11 June.’’