By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 20 July 2013:
The supreme committee of Justice & Construction Party (JCP) is . . .[restrict]set to meet today to decide on the earlier announcement by the party’s executive committee relieving its bloc members in the General National Congress (GNC) of abiding by party policies. The JCP executive committee issued the decision days before the first anniversary of GNC elections allowing members to adopt personal positions on all issues inside the GNC.
The announcement led to internal differences in the party and in a number of meetings different legal and political issues were discussed, including the point whether the executive committee exceeded its authority by issuing the decision. However, the notification clearly said it would be up to the supreme committee to ratify the decision.
According to Salim Betmal, head of JCP’s political wing, the announcement was to counter the efforts of ‘anti-democratic’ forces that were spreading rumours that political parties are responsible for the inaction of the GNC on various issues.
He told the Libya Herald: “They were spreading rumours against parties to use it as a tool in ultimately dissolving the GNC. We believe that the GNC has complete legitimacy as an elected body and it should continue working on the NTC roadmap. So we decided to allow our members to act independent of party policies but left it to the supreme committee to ratify the decision.”
The party’s supreme committee is very likely to strike down the announcement as the developments on the law for constitutional committee has changed the political situation of the country.
Betmal also said that efforts to bring tribalism into politics would only destabilize the country. He said, “If you let the tribes gather and decide for the whole society then it would not be democracy but the Afghan ‘Jirga’ system. Some people do have problems with the political parties, it can be debated but you cannot have a democracy without political parties.”
He also said that the approval of electoral law for constitutional committee is a big success and step in the right direction. Betmal said, “It is no doubt a positive development. We have 10 percent quota for both women and minorities. I’d rather call them components of the society than minorities.”
Betmal said passing this law is just the first step and it would be some time before the constitution is ready and the next parliament sworn in.
“This is just the law. There is a fair amount of work remaining after this, from final committee to drafting the constitution to referendum and then the formation of the electoral law in the light of the new constitution. It seems the GNC would have to extend its time frame”, concluded Salim Betmal, head of JCP’s political wing. [/restrict]