By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 29 April 2013:
The Political Isolation Law is due to be debated by the General National Congress (GNC) on . . .[restrict]Sunday, according to Union for Homeland Party leader Abdurrahman Sewehli.
“We have been working day and night on the final draft,” Congressman Sewehli told the Libya Herald today, “and the whole of the GNC will be voting on the final draft on Sunday”. To pass the law, 101 votes are needed.
The proposed law, which would exclude former Qaddafi-era officials from holding senior posts, has caused some controversy. Rights groups, including Lawyers for Justice in Libya and Human Rights Watch, have voiced concern that the law could be used to circumvent appropriate legal process and have said that it must respect human rights.
However, Sewehli said that there were misunderstandings regarding the Political Isolation Law and that people who were against it had been misleading others, especially through the media.
“It’s no different from the Integrity Commission at the moment,” the UHP leader said, “it is just a continuation of its work”. He said that the problem with the Integrity Commission at present is that it excluded investigations into anyone who broke with the Qaddafi regime before 20 March 2011.
“We are going to change that clause,” Sewehli explained, “and also add a new one which allows Congress to exclude anybody by a two-thirds majority, if it is in national interests to do so”.
He said that only some 4,000-5,000 people would be affected by the law. “They could still hold government jobs,” he said, “but they couldn’t hold positions of leadership”.
“We have been waiting for it to be passed for weeks and months,” Sewehli added. Congress, he said, had done nothing yet because political groups had been delaying the progress of the proposed new law, echoing what Zeidan said at last night’s press conference.
Indications that the law would be debated on Sunday came earlier today when it was announced that tomorrow’s sitting of Congress was being moved to 5 May.