By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab and Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 24 October 2013:
Any Amazigh who tries to stand for election to the Constitutional Committee will . . .[restrict]be considered a traitor, a meeting of Amazigh representatives has announced.
The meeting, on Wednesday in the Jebel Nafusa town of Tamzin, drew thuwar commanders and representatives, activists and elders as well as civil society institutions in the Tamazight-speaking towns of Zuara, Nalut, Jadu, Kabaw, Rahibat, Al-Haraba, Tamlushayit, Yefren and Al-Qalaa.
The meeting had been called to set up the mechanics of implementing the earlier call by the Supreme Amazigh Council for a boycott of the Constitutional Committee elections. The council rejected the decision by Congress to reserve just two seats for the Amazigh to the 60-member body. It had demanded more.
Under the law establishing the Constitutional Committee, two seats each were allocated to the Amazigh, Tebu and Tuareg communities, although the number of Amazigh is estimated to be at least 20 times that of the Tebu.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Amazigh delegates reiterated that there would be a boycott which, according to an Amazigh spokesman, would cover all upcoming elections, including those for municipal councils.
The delegates added that members of the community who took part in any aspect of the Constitutional Committee or municipal elections, either by standing as a candidate, organising them or voting in them, would not be representing Amazigh society and would be “black-listed” and “considered a traitor to the Tamazight cause”.
The boycott appears to be working. On Monday, the head of the High National Election Commission (HNEC), Nuri Elabbar, revealed although a small number of Tebus and Tuaregs had registered to stand as candidates, no Amazigh had done so. He appealed to them to register. [/restrict]