By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 15 June 2014:
The Constitutional Assembly has set up a committee to negotiate with the Amazigh in an effort to . . .[restrict]reach a compromise on the latter’s demands that have resulted in them continuing to boycott the constitutional drafting process.
“We set up a committee to communicate and debate with our Amazigh brothers,” spokesperson of the Assembly Al-Sidiq Al-Drissi told the Libya Herald. “The Amazigh are indispensible in drafting the new constitutional.”
Two Libyan ethnic minorities – the Amazigh and Tebus – together with many of the Tuaregs boycotted the Constitutional Assembly elections of 20 February, demanding a consensus principal that stipulates that at least two-thirds of the entire 60-member Assembly, including all six Amazigh, Tebu and Tuareg members, would have to agree to the proposals in the draft on the name of the state, its identity, flag, national anthem and language(s).
The Tebus joined the Assembly when Congress agreed in principle to the consensus principal. However, the Amazigh and those Tuaregs maintained that the language of the resolution concerning the consensus principle was vague and unclear and still refused to join. The Tuaregs later changed course and have now also joined the Assembly.
“The Constitutional Assembly initiated a national tour demonstrating cooperation, showing it is seeking better and closer dialogue with Libyans nation-wide,” explained Al-Dirissi. “We dialogued with many Libyans across the whole country, but we haven’t had a genuine debate with our Amazigh brothers I’m afraid.”
After realising that the tour did little to bridge the gap with the Amazigh, Al-Dirissi says that the Assembly decided that it had to appoint a carefully selected committee to liaise specifically with the them.
In recent weeks a number of political activists have called for the Assembly to take charge of the country in place of the General National Congress which is widely despised and seen as overstaying its mandate.
“We’ve restrained ourselves from getting involved in the political turbulence,” said Al-Dirissi when asked about this. “We were elected to achieve and fulfill a certain goal in collaboration with the people,” he stressed.
“The increasing insecurity in Libya is holding our country back in so many ways, but we, as the Constitutional Assemby, are determined to move forward and accomplish the purpose we were elected for,” he said. [/restrict]