By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 22 January 2014:
A number of political heavyweights heading civil society organisations have laid out an alternative roadmap for . . .[restrict]the transition of power from Congress, relieving it of its duties no later than 7 February.
Their plans follow a vote two days ago in Congress for a plan that would see it handing over power, under a new constitution, to a new legislature on 24 December.
The alternative proposals, which would see an elected president and parliament with new constitutional powers installed by 21 July, was backed by, among others, former deputy leader of the National Transitional Council Abdulhafid Gogha, former deputy leader of Congress Juma Ateega and former Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour, all of whom now head national political organisations and think tanks.
Also backing the plans are the head of Gathering for Democratic Libya , Younis Tanoush, and Abdul Raouf Bayet Al-Mal the head of the National Coalition.
The organisations’ so-called “summary of initiatives” was unveiled yesterday at a press conference coinciding with the recent announcement of Congress’ own roadmap which would see it quit in December.
The civil society organisations indicated that they were not trying to make a political statement through their recommendations but rather hoped to collaborate with Congress to achieve the best possible outcome.
They have called on Congress to amend Articles 17 to 30 of the Constitutional Declaration which pertain to the make-up of the interim government. These amendments would then form a new interim constitution and would see the formation of a streamlined transitional government, of no more than ten ministers around an independent national figure acting as prime minister. The organisations also advocate legislation paving the way for elections of a president and a parliament in July 2014.
The proposals are similar to those suggested by former Oil Minister Ali Tarhuni in August when he called for a crisis government to be formed to focus entirely on security. Tarhuni ‘s organisation the National Forces Movement has backed the new plans.
Former deputy leader of Congress Juma Ateega told the Libya Herald: “I imagine that a large number of members of Congress feel that they are in an impasse. Large numbers of them are also apprehensive about what will happen if they leave on 7 February.” He aded: “These initiatives make the hand over of power much more smoother, in a peaceful and constitutional framework that meets the demands of the people.”
The organisers of the event told this paper that they “were very disappointed” that the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya,Tarek Mitri, did not attend the event.