By Sami Zaptia.
Dusseldorf, 14 September 2018:
The House of Representatives (HoR) failed to muster a quorum in its emergency session yesterday to enable it to vote on a constitutional amendment.
Many members from the western region were unable to attend – ostensibly due to the closures of Tripoli’s Mitiga airport caused by the recent militia clashes.
A constitutional amendment is needed to activate the referendum law that the HoR has approved.
The referendum law is needed for a referendum on Libya’s draft permanent constitution, as stipulated by Libya’s current temporary constitution (the 2011 Transitional Constitutional Declaration (amended).
The HoR official spokesperson, Abdalla Belheeg, said that the HoR did pass the referendum law yesterday as it is, which means it clashes with the current operative Transitional Constitutional Declaration.
The clash comes in the referendum law creating three separate voting constituencies for Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The current Transitional Constitutional Declaration stipulates that the whole of Libya is treated as one constituency.
Belheeg conceded that a constitutional amendment is necessary in order to protect the referendum law from any legal challenges.
The HoR also discussed the latest militia fighting and insecurity in Tripoli and the reformation of the Presidency Council.
With regards to the latest Tripoli events, the HoR created a committee to “follow-up” and seek “remedies” and “the imposition of security ” in the capital.
Quite what that means in practice is unclear, as the HoR has very little traction on the ground when it comes to security in the capital.
With regards to the reformation of the Pesidency Council (PC), Belheeg said that the HoR had agreed to the slimming down of the PC to three members consisting of one PC head and two deputies, and a completely separate prime minister.
These are to be agreed with the High State Council – in accordance with the 2015 Skhirat Libyan Political Agreement.
However, since yesterday’s session did not secure a quorum, it is not at all clear if any of its deliberations can be considered legal or binding.