By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 10 March 2014:
Some 50 members of the General National Congress, many of them women, walked out . . .[restrict]of yesterday’s sitting in protest at a change to the agenda which meant that there would be debate on the proposals submitted by the February Committee for early direct elections for a replacement to Congress and a state president.
The members were angry at the decision by the GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain giving Congress members time to discuss the proposal rather than to directly vote on it.
They claimed that the proposals had to be voted on in their entirety, without any amendments and without discussions.
“We completely reject discussing the proposal,” a protesting member told the Libya Herald on condition of anonymity. “We should vote on it directly in accordance with the decision of forming the February committee.”
This, the member said, had been that Congress would vote to either accept or reject the proposals as a whole without discussion.
The reason some members wanted to discuss the proposal, it was claimed, was so that they could amend the article on elections for the state president, making it an appointment by the new legislature rather than being elected by Libyan voters.
Supporters and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, while now accepting that there should be early elections to a successor to Congress are known to oppose direct elections to the state president, supposedly because they fear a candidate with a Muslim Brotherhood link would be rejected by the Libyan public.
The Brotherhood wanted to make themselves the guardians of the Libyan people and deprive them of their right to choose the president of Libya through free direct elections as it was mention by February Committee, the member said.
Murzuk Congressman Abdulwahab Al-Ghayed, a member of Al-Wafa block which includes the Justice & Construction Party and members of the Brotherhood, told both Ajwa Liblad news agency and Libya Ahrar TV station that the block opposed the proposal of February Committee of direct elections of the president, claiming that the block feared it would lead to new dictator.
“One or two big tribes in Libya [by themselves] could determine the name of the president. Therefore we call for immediate elections [to a new Congress] by the law that elected the [present] Congress, and then leave it to it to elect the next president” Ghayed said.
He added that the February Committee’s proposal was very long and there was a need fora quick response to the demands of the street, and this could be found in quick elections for a new Congress.
Zawiya Congressman Said Jarjar, a member of Justice and Judicial Authorities Committee, told this newspaper that it was perfectly legitimate to discuss and review the February Committee’s proposal before voting on it.
Intense efforts were being made by members to reach a consensus on the proposal, Jarjar said, explaining that debate was still ongoing among the blocs in Congress. [/restrict]