Libya: elected officials call for constitution before elections

Libyan elected representatives called on Saturday for the approval of a Constitution prior to the holding of elections in Libya, without questioning the date of the election, announced the day before by the UN for the end of 2021

Libyan representatives of all sides gathered under the aegis of the United Nations reached an agreement on Friday on December 24, 2021, the first concrete result of their dialogue launched five days ago in Tunisia to try to get their country out of the crisis.

Mined by conflicts and power struggles since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya is now torn between two rival authorities: the Government of National Unity (GNA), based in the West in Tripoli and recognized by the United Nations, and a power embodied by Khalifa Haftar, a strong man from the East.

After the failure of the offensive launched by Marshal Haftar in April 2019 to seize the capital, fighting has ceased since June 2020. A permanent ceasefire was concluded in October.

Political talks must, inter alia, decide on the legal basis for future parliamentary and presidential elections. Libya currently has a draft Constitution dating from 2011 and a draft basic law, some articles of which were controversial and which had not been adopted.

We welcome any proposal of a date for elections, but we must focus on the draft Constitution, Bashir al-Houch, elected elected of the High Council of State, pointed out to the press the equivalent of a Senate based in western Libyan. One year, it gives us time to submit a Constitution to the Libyans for approval or rejection before the elections.

A dialogue that does not lead to a constitutional referendum, will not meet the expectations of the majority of Libyans, said Abdelmonem al-Cherif, a member of the Constitutional Authority, responsible for drafting the countrys future constitution.

The United Nations mission and the international parties have no right to reject this project, he added.

Nevertheless, he felt that this could happen in the coming months, leading to elections in December.

The elected officials issued a communiqué with the seal of the rival assemblies, the Parliament of Tobruk (east) and the High Council of State (west).

The 75 delegates meeting in Tunis are also expected to appoint in the coming days the main heads of a new unified executive.