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Libyan Constitutions

 

 

  1. Libyan Kingdom Constitution
  2. Libyan Jamahiriya Constitution
  3. NTC Constitutional Declaration

The Libyan constitution, like any other, changes whenever a new government re-places the previous one. This page will provide information about the constitution of the Kingdom of Libya (under Idris); the constitution of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (under Gaddafi); and the Constitutional Declaration of the Interim National Transitional Council (under Abduljalil); and the 2017 Constitution Project of the CDA (Constitution Drafting Assembly). This allows the reader to compare the various constitutions and see how and if they change with time.

For example, all three constitutions declared Arabic as the only official language of Libya despite the fact that Tamazight is the 'native' language of Libya and not Arabic; but of course the Libyans and their international friends are yet to handle the bitter truth; replacing one tyranny with another on the way to "No-where".

As another example, both Gaddafi's first temporary "Constitutional Declaration" (adopted  on the 11th of December 1969) and NTC's "Constitutional Declaration" (adopted on the 3rd of August 2011) had introduced a state of lawlessness. According to the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "the absence of a constitution facilitated the adoption of contradictory legislation and undermined protection against human rights violations.

 

The Constitutional Committee

Initially the Libyans were told that one of the jobs of the elected National Congress is to form a 60-member "Constitutional Committee" within 60 days of its election. The constitutional committee will then draft a constitution for people to vote only in a "yes" or "no" vote. If the constitution is approved by a majority of two-thirds or more, then it will be endorsed by the National Congress; if not then it will be re-drafted by the constitutional committee within 30 days and put back for another referendum.

However, just two days before the 7/7 elections (of 2012), the NTC shocked the Libyans, once more, when it stripped the HNEC of its job to form the constitutional commission. Under the new Constitutional Amendment No. 3 of 2012, issued on the 5th of July 2012, the constitutional commission is now called "The Founding Commission", and it will be elected by Libyan voters directly.

The 60-member commission will have 120 days from their first meeting to complete and implement the task. Also the two-thirds majority required to approve the new constitution has now been amended to "two-thirds plus one". Some sources say the move is dangerous and may lead to further clashes; while others say it is no more than a temporary spin to please Cyrenaica and its call for "equal numbers", and that it will be reversed after the elections had ended.

When January 2013 arrived and still there is no sight of the "draft constitution", many Libyans began doubting the ability of the GNC to deliver according to the deadline(s) stipulated by the CD. The delay was due to several reasons including the safety issue that eventually affected the GNC itself, with repeated attacks, and according to one GNC member, the amendment made by the NTC on the 5th of July (as mentioned above) was also to blame for the delay.

Passing the blame from one transitional government to the next, while playing for more time, allows ample time for "others" to dictate the course of the events before the law is made; by which time it would become much harder for people to reverse the transitional changes established over the interim period(s). Plenty of food for thought.

 

Constitutional Consultation

According to Solidarity Press [1], the GNC's spokesman had announced on the 15th of January 2013 that the GNC is currently discussing the mechanism to exempt its members from their duties for two weeks, to allow them the opportunity to return to their hometowns so that they can enrich and participate in the "social dialogue" over the drafting of the constitution to ensure every voice is heard and forwarded to the general assembly. This without a doubt is a good step, backwards, towards drafting a constitution that is all inclusive and fair to "some" fortunate Libyans.

 

Restructuring The Electoral Commission

On the 9th of February 2013, the GNC announced their decision to restructure "the Electoral Commission and its mandate to conduct elections to the Constitutional body”, and to form "a committee for the preparation of the electoral law" [2]  – a definitive step towards gaining more time.

The announcement came after an earlier vote by 120 GNC members to go along with the last CD amendment and put the constitutional committee to direct election  – a decision which will be cancelled if refused by the Judicial Authority [3], in which case the 60 committee will be selected by the GNC itself, and a decision which will send the process back to square one, to start the process to "nowhere".

On the 14th of February 2013, the GNC has approved a three-man committee to draft another electoral law [4]. They are:

  1. Shaban Buseita (an independent from Nalut, representing Tripolitania)
  2. Suleiman Zubi (an independent from Benghazi, representing Cyrenaica)
  3. Mohamed Tumi (from Sebha, representing Fezzan) 

 

 

Sharia Constitution?

On Sunday the 17th of February, during the second anniversary celebration in Benghazi, Libya's acting president, Dr. Magarief, has "pledged" that Libya would incorporate Sharia into the forthcoming constitution of Libya [5]. This seems to be a forced reaction to the earlier statement in which he hinted at Libya becoming a secular state.


[1] presssolidarity.net/المؤتمر-الوطني-العام-يقترح-آلية-جديدة/
[2] Libya Herald, article: /2013/02/09/magarief-gives-state-of-union-address/
[3] presssolidarity.net/120-عضوا-يصوتون-على-انتخاب-لجنة-الستين/
[4] Libya Herald, article: /2013/02/13/members-of-electoral-committee-approved/
[5] guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/17/libya-arrests-suspected-foreign-missionaries



Download the Constitutional Amendment 3/2012
.

 

 

GNC Amends The CD In Relation To The Constitutional Committee

09 April 2013:

The GNC had decided on the 9th of April 2013 to amend the Constitutional Declaration in relation to the constitutional committee – the constituent body in charge of writing the Libyan Draft Constitution. The GNC spokesman, Mr. Omar Hamidan, told LANA that the committee will be directly elected, and entrusted with the task of writing the constitution in a "specified period". He added that the Congress had also amended the previously amended 120-majority required to pass laws and decrees, which now has been reduced to 100 + 1 (that is 101 votes are required by the GNC to pass laws).

It is not known why these requirements keep going up and down, in line with the chaos outside. The Constitutional Amendment (1) of Year 2012 to Article (30) of the CD has removed the phrase "relative majority", and instead stated that "in all cases all decisions shall be taken by a majority of two-thirds" (that is 133 votes out of 200). But shortly after the election of the GNC, Solidarity Press announced on the 31st of August 2012 that the congress had amended Article (30) of the Constitutional Declaration so that the congress' laws will be approved by a majority of 120 members. Now this seems to have been reduced to 101.

 

 

GNC Decides al-Bayda the Headquarters of the Constitutional Committee

02 July 2013:

The GNC had voted on two articles of the constitutional committee law: article (44), securing a majority of 133 votes, decides the headquarters of the committee will be in al-Bayda, in Cyrenaica. Article (44) states that the president and the deputy of the committee will be decided by "secret ballot", in a maximum period of two weeks from the date of announcement of the results.

 

 

GNC Approves the Electoral Law Regarding the Constitutional Committee

16 July 2013:

The GNC had finally approved the electoral law for the election of the constitutional committee. Out of 60 seats (the actual number of the members of the committee) only 4 seats were given to the Berbers, 2 seats to the Tebu, and 6 to women. The Berbers say "deleting" the paragraph relating to the mechanism of the law that ensures "agreement" (or "compatibility") on cultural and linguistic components of the society, and instead substituting it with "voting", violates basic human rights that cannot be voted for. This has angered all the concerned groups, with the native Berbers and Tebu announcing a boycott of the committee and the election process, if the GNC does not amend its decision by the 23rd of July 2013. With only 4 seats the Berbers' hopes continue to be shattered and circumvented with complicated spin (that is obvious). It is not known what good this would do to Libya, nor how it relates to the February revolution, but with the Berbers' boycott, and even their "civil disobedience", the clock is ticking for the 60-committee to avert alarm. (See Amazigh tab, above right, for more on this.)

 

 

GNC Signs The Constitutional Committee Electoral Law in al-Bayda

20 July 2013:

The GNC held an inauguration ceremony  in the old parliament (of the corrupt monarchy of King Idris) in al-Bayda. The constitutional committee law was signed by the president of the GNC, Mr. Nuri Abusahmain, before passing it to the new head of the HNEC, Mr. Nuri al-Abbar - who was re-appointed to the commission on the 29th of April 2013 by Decree 40/2013. See political parties for more on election laws and downloads.

 

 

 

 

 

 




Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Constitution

 


Download the full text of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Constitution.

 

According to the summary report prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya):

"1. Human Rights Solidarity (HRS)2 reported that there was no written constitution in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. A temporary "Constitutional Declaration" was adopted by the Revolutionary Council on 11 December 1969. On 2 March 1977, the Declaration of the People’s Authority launched a new political system whose ideals are stipulated in a series of three small booklets known as the Green Book. HRS added that the absence of a constitution facilitated the adoption of contradictory legislation and undermined protection against human rights violations. In the absence of a clear constitution, that defines the branches of government and regulates the relationship between them -i.e. separation of powers- security agencies operated with impunity."

Download the full Human Rights Council Report regarding the persecution of the Berbers and the Tebo by Gaddafi's government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




NTC Constitutional Declaration

 

 

Part 1:

The Controversial Constitutional Declaration


On the 3rd of August 2011 the NTC imposed its 37-point "Constitutional Declaration" (CD) allegedly to provide a framework for the transition to an elected government, and to call for a constitutional assembly within eight months. Even though the CD is written for the transitional period the draft had attracted strong criticism from both Berbers and Arabs including secular Libyans, women groups, exiled Libyans, and human rights organisations and activists for a number of reasons outlined as follows:

  • The Constitutional Declaration was imposed by the NTC without any consultation with the Libyan People and without a referendum, Libyans say.


  • The Constitutional Declaration "seems to have been influenced by transition planning advice from the UN as well as the US and UK", The Guardian said.


  • The Constitutional Declaration seems to have been designed to effect an ethnic conflict; dictating Arabic as the only official language while excluding Berber and Tebu languages. It would have been more appropriate if the NTC had organised a public referendum after the presumed liberation, rather than dictate its own opinion before liberation.


  • Both Gaddafi's first temporary "Constitutional Declaration" (adopted  on the 11th of December 1969) and the NTC's "Constitutional Declaration" (adopted on the 3rd of August 2011) had introduced a state of lawlessness. According to the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "the absence of a constitution facilitated the adoption of contradictory legislation and undermined protection against human rights violations."

    Introducing Constitutional Declarations during the transition seems to allow interim leaders ample time to lay the rules and pave the way for the kind of change they see in mind (usually chaos and corruption), long before the elections take place and long before the new constitution is written; by which time everything becomes established and the euphoria of "regime-change" slowly disappears whence it came. This leads one to enquire if "constitutional declarations" were invented to effect change in the absence of law! Instead, one is better inclined to leave both the security apparatus and the previous constitution as they are, effective and valid during the transitional period, just as the old currency stays (and just as the old business contracts are honoured), until the new constitution is discussed first, written by qualified experts (without any foreign advice), voted for (or even better: agreed upon), and then adopted by the people of Libya. Far less damage to the structure of the country will be done this way. This method, which most leaders appear unable to favour, is also less costly, more effective, saves lives, protects civilians, eliminates tension and revenge, and thus speeds recovery.


  • In its introduction to the CD the NTC said that "in response to the desire and the expectation of the Libyan people to achieve democracy . . . the NTC issued this Constitutional Declaration to become the foundation of governance during the transition." What does "in response to the desire and the expectation of the Libyan people" mean? The CD was imposed on the Libyan people without any consultation or discussion with the Libyan people. No one has consulted the Berber people of Libya about their 'desires' and 'expectations' regarding 'democracy', 'equality' and 'official recognition'. The CD is written in response to the desires of the NTC or in response to the desires of the people who wrote the CD -- for example, as was mentioned above, the CD seems to have been influenced by transition planning advice from the West. There was no referendum held in relation to the 37-points dictated by the NTC in its CD, and in fact many Libyans, Berbers and Arabs alike, have objected to a number of points, and even protested against the CD in the streets of the capital after liberation, but no one took any notice of their 'desires' and 'expectations'.


  • According to the report published by democracy-reporting.org, "The Constitutional Declaration appears to envisage a significant law-making role for the ITNC that goes beyond the immediate necessities of the transition. This could raise concerns if the ITNC is seen to pre-empt fundamental, substantive choices regarding Libya’s State and society, which should be left to the democratically elected bodies to decide at a later date."


  • The  "Constitutional Declaration" of the NTC seems to violate itself by having Article (6) contradict Article (1). Article (6) states that Libyans are 'equal' before the law, and 'they are equal' to enjoy civil and political rights without any discrimination based on religion, confession (or sect), language, wealth, kinship, gender, political opinion, social status, or tribal or familial belonging. But Article (1) declares only Arabic as the official language of Libya, despite the fact that Berber is the 'native' language of Libya and not Arabic. If all Libyans are 'equal' and have 'equal rights' regardless of language, then Berber language must equally be made official. If not, then they are not equal, as Article (6) claims they are.


    ntc constitutional declaration article 1

    Article (1)

    Translation:

    "Libya is an independent and democratic country, in it people are the source of power, its capital is Tripoli, its religion is Islam, Islamic Sharia is its primary source of legislation, and the country pledges the freedom to practice religious ceremonies for non-Muslims, and its official language is The Arabic Language, and the country Libya guarantees the cultural rights for all the components of the Libyan society and their languages are considered national languages."



  • The NTC's response to the Berbers' criticism was that people need to be patient, and that a 'constitutional committee' will draft the final constitution and and put to a referendum for the Libyan people to vote for only in a "yes" or "no" vote. According to the Berber people of Libya, if the CD was temporary and that they need to wait for the final copy to see the fruits of the 'spring', then why publish the temporary CD in the first place?  The Berbers have also said that identity issues and justice are not matters for voters to decide in a 'yes' or 'no' vote, but they are basic human rights -- automatically granted to the ruling party but not to all Libyans 'equally'. It is obvious that the majority was terrorising the minorities under the pretext of tyranny and dictatorship in the past, and the whole point of revolution and democracy is to allow minorities equal rights to breathe freedom and enjoy dignity without having to beg the majority for what is their divine right by birth. Only time will reveal Libya's Third Constitution in as many governments, and until then the Berbers still hope for "just" constitution and one that is different from the previous two.


  • Article 30 and its first amendment state that the constitution will be endorsed if two-thirds of Libyans vote for it. This requirement risks the failure of the referendum if this majority is not reached. According to democracy-reporting.org, "Curiously, article 30 requires the constitution to be approved by the Constituent Power and the NPC after it is approved by popular referendum".


  • Article (7) says "the country" will respect 'human rights' and the 'political freedom' of Libyans, but it does not say what this means in practice. Denying the Berbers 'official recognition' and the right to form 'political parties' based on identity could only mean violations of both: human rights and political freedom. The CD needs to be specific regarding these issues and face the challenges ahead without playing with words. Human rights are not "respected", "tolerated" or "voted", but they are natural rights recognised and endorsed by the constitution.


  • Article (1) states "Sharia" as the primary source of legislation, while at the same time states that 'people are the source of power’. Is it people or Sharia the source of power? Why such a clear contradiction? As reported by Democracy Reporting, the CD does not say which schools of Sharia will be applied and which body is in charge of interpreting or applying Sharia principles!


  • The NTC dictated 'Sharia' and 'Arabic language' in its CD without any consultation with the Libyan people. Is it polite to ask the Libyans first? Well, in July 2012, the NTC published its manifesto Number 7 (of 2012) in which they "reminded" the General National Congress that Sharia is "not for voting".


  • Article (1) also states 'Islam' is the religion of Libya, while at the same time pledges freedom for non-Muslims to practice their religion. The phrase "non-Muslims" (in Article 1) is ambiguous and could refer to both Libyans and non-Libyans, in the same way  "their religion" could mean any other religion in the world. All in all, there are "thousands of religions" in the world. Would this mean that Libyans and non-Libyans can practice any religion they like in the world? The CD needs to be concise rather than use broader terms that can be left wide-open to misinterpretations.


  • Article (14) guarantees the freedom of "scientific research" as long as it does not contradict with the law. But then what does the law say in relation to scientific research? Which part of science that is against the law and which part that is not? Is Darwinian research against the law? Is secular research permitted? The CD needs to grant Libyans an absolute freedom of scientific research, simply because research can not harm the law: research is information -- the search for scientific truth. How can the quest for scientific truth contradict the law in any way? The proper and final "Constitution" needs to address these issues with clear 'wording'.


  • Article (6): Libyan women politicians and activists have been campaigning for some time against the apparent violation by the election committee (or election officials) of Article (6) of the CD, which calls for equal opportunities and rights for women. Some women stated that there is an apparent program to obstruct women from achieving reasonable presence in the government and its various programs and institutions, and that the election committee had failed to ensure that all procedures are in line with the guidelines specified by the CD. The number of women GNC-members was said to be 40 women, making exactly 20% of the total (of 200 members). 


  • According to Democracy Reporting, "The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as protected under article 18 of ICCPR is missing from the Constitutional Declaration7, and this again raises concerns in view of the principles contained in article 1. Moreover, while some elements of freedom of expression are reflected in article 14, it falls short of providing adequate protection in line with article 19 of the ICCPR,8 which includes in particular the “freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers...


  • On the 9th of February 2013, nearly 8 months after the election of the GNC, the president of the GNC, Dr. Magarief, has announced that the Constitutional Declaration (CD) did not clearly define the duties of the General National Conference (GNC) and the Executive Department. No doubt there are a number of limitations, gaps and contradictions within the CD that are in direct contradiction with the aspirations and the principles of the "revolution" (to many categories of people, at least); yet only now the leaders are acknowledging one or two limitations  whilst continuing to ignore the remaining violations. The fact that the GNC and the PMO had several disagreements regarding a number of issues resulting from this particular issue, and given the fact that the GNC had faced great difficulties to represent "authority", the blame can only lie at the heart of the CD. Hence, the question: why write the CD in the manner it was written or advised when it was not necessary at all (at that early stage)?


  • Could it be a catalyst for civil conflict the leaders are yet to configure? Why stir more trouble before putting out the fires still taking place, before healing the wounded, and  before cleaning the mess and re-building the destroyed country? Believe it or leave it, the CD was dictated long before liberation was presumed. The CD was declared on the 3rd of August 2011, and Liberation was prematurely presumed on the 23rd of October 2011 (while the country still was in a state of war). Why the hurry?


  • Historical leaders are those who always seem to know what is best for their country, and loyal citizens are those who accept nothing less.


  • If the Constitutional Declaration was imposed without any consultation with the Libyan people, while flawed with contradictions, vague definitions and minority-rights violations, then it may provide fertile grounds for questioning its authority in relation to 'democracy', 'transparency', 'equality', 'freedom' and 'legitimacy'; and as such one would expect all resulting decisions to follow the same line of enquiry.


  • The best measure for the CD's controversy is the fact that it is continually being amended whenever anyone is not happy with any particular article. So far 8 amendments have been imposed on the Libyan people, with more currently being discussed by the HoR to accommodate the UN-imposed GNA; achieving nothing  more than effecting chaos and corruption, and infecting the country with terror and poverty; clearly illustrating the third observation made above.


  • Lets us hope the permanent constitution is agreed upon on time to address all the above issues before it is too late.

 

 

 

 

Part 2:

The Constitutional Declaration [never-ending] Amendments


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Berbers' Constitutional Recognition


 

tamazight flag

constution rights forum for the amazigh of libya

 

All transitional governments, so far, appear quite silent about the specific issue of "constitutionalising Tamazight". This led the Berbers to protest against the NTC and the GNC (and their various transitional governments) for what they say their apparent approval of the marginalisation policy employed by the Ousted. 

No official reference to constitutionalising Tamazight was made anywhere by any Libyan official; and instead the leaders appear tweaking statistics and terms to win their way through hasty elections and bungled decrees passed by transitional governments before even writing a constitution. The Berbers are aware of such un-transparent methods to deprive them of the fruits of the "February Revolution" they were led to believe they fought for (when their services were still required to topple the Ousted).

They were used and let down before, since 1911, and now in 2011 when the Constitutional Declaration once again failed to mention the Berbers by "name"; then on July 2013 when the 60-Committee Law was amended then passed with fundamental violations of human rights just as violated by the Ousted.

 

 

Why The Arabs Say Tamazight Can Never Be Constitutionalised?

There are various reasons explaining why the majority of the Arabs were kept in darkness regarding Tamazight, and these require a dedicated study of their own. However, the most important reasons are the government's silence to address the Berber issue by name (apart from the misleading "ethnic minorities") and the lack of any serious media debates over the Berber issue. Some Arabs openly say that constitutionalising Tamazight will force the government to develop extra systems to implement official procedures in Berber language, like having to appoint a Berber spokesman in every government department; prepare its staff to accept legal proceedings submitted in Tamazight; and appoint Berber translators, lawyers and prosecutors in every court house.

These are somewhat exaggerated fears, since they do not have to be that way. These are issues left to resolve once the process is declared open to discussion.

Some even declared the minority 10% Berbers can never force such policies on the majority 90% Arabs. Such views also say that 90% of Berbers cannot read or write Tamazight, while nearly all Berbers can read and write Arabic; but, of course, this situation came about as a result of the long persecution and marginalisation the Berbers needlessly endured through the centuries, just as they were deprived by law of the legal authority and the financial funds required to revive and develop their language in education, literature and the media.

Within a few generations of such freedom (if granted) those Arabs who cite such statistics can be assured that 100% of Berbers will be able to read and write Tamazight - unless Arabic is forced by law (as it is now and then). In fact this is exactly what the Berbers are saying: constitutionalising Tamazight does not mean imposing Berber language on all Arabs, nor Arabic on all Berbers.

It seems plausible that confusion was intentionally created to distance people from the simple truth, in the same way federalism was falsely associated with dividing Libya when it is merely concerned with decentralisation of administration. Such "advice" implemented by the current transitional government would therefore appear to create deep divisions within the so-called "liberated Libyans".

 


The Report of Libya al-Hurra TV (قناة ليبيا الحرة )
The Forum of the Constitutional Rights for the Imazighen of Libya, Tripoli.

The forum was held on the 12th of January 2013, at the Rixos Hotel, Tripoli - just one day before the unofficial Berber New Year (13 January 2963). The new year is celebrated as a public holiday by the Berbers of Libya, even though they still campaign for the event to be declared "official holiday".

The constitutional forum was attended by a number of GNC members including Libya's acting president, Dr. Magarief, and Berber GNC members, the deputy minister of culture, the president of the World Amazigh Congress, representatives from various political parties including the heads of the NFA and the Justice & Development party, representatives from a number of embassies, the European Union and the UN, Berberists from Egypt and Tunisia, and hundreds of Libyan Berbers and Arabs as well as the MEDIA - the vital component the Berbers lack to propel their struggle for dignity and freedom.

The Berber representative of the Berber-speaking areas in Libya called for the establishment of "The Supreme Council for the Amazigh of Libya", to represent a united front to assist the Berbers to achieve their goals and legitimate aspirations.

The Berbers have made it clear that they will never accept any constitution that does not include "justice", "equality" and "complete citizenship"; and that their constitutional rights are not subject to "voting",  "differentiation" or "referendum" because they are legitimate rights for all Libyans regardless of language or doctrine. 

Dr. Magarief has, once more, demonstrated his wholehearted support for Tamazight ('Berber language') to be constitutionally recognised, and stressed  his personal belief that there is a unanimous agreement among Libyans that the Imazighen and the Tebu together with the Arabs form a fundamental component of the Libyan society.

The Deputy Culture Minister, Atwater Utahan, has also expressed support for Tamazight to be recognised by the constitution, and stated that the Berbers' right is not only a political right but also a "legal", "cultural" and "historical" right. Hopefully the ministry's website will mention Libya's indigenous culture by "name", instead of the usual marginalisation displayed by most government and private institutions.

 

 

The Recommendations Outlined By The Forum

 

The commanding speech of the president of Zuwarah's Local Council, Dr. Tariq Attoshi.

The Final statement of the Constitutional Rights Forum for the Amazigh of Libya was authoritative, straightforward, and clear about the Berbers' demands for freedom, equality and dignity. The speech was delivered by the president of Zuwarah's Local Council, Dr. Tariq Attoshi, on behalf of all the heads of the local councils of  Tamazight-speaking communities of Libya, and on behalf of the Berber members of the GNC. In declaring the establishment of the Supreme Council for the Amazigh of Libya, Dr. Tariq recommends the following: 

  1. The Constitution ought to categorically respond to the "spirit" of the  Libyan revolution, and aim to prepare the nation from the "state of exclusion & marginalisation" to a "state of equality for all citizens", in all rights and duties; the state of true democracy, human rights and the rule of law; the state of freedom, dignity and social justice embodied by the slogan: "for a democratic constitution, in both form and substance".

  2. The Constitution ought to categorically acknowledge the "Libyan identity" as the "identity of the State of Libya", rooted in its Tamazight heritage; with the commitment to include its features in all official emblems and sovereign symbols, such as the currency, identity cards, the national anthem, postal stamps,  educational curriculum, and the media.

  3. The Constitution ought to categorically recognise Tamazight  as an official language of Libya, and an equal language with other official languages.

  4. The Constitution ought to develop a "regulatory law", to organise the introduction of Tamazight  to all areas of public life, to ensure legal protection, and to activate Tamazight as an official language.

  5. The Constitution ought to reinstate the legal right for the Ibadi doctrine (للمذهب الإباضي to exercise its authority legislatively, ceremonially, scientifically and through the media.

 

 

 

Reflections > Education

This without a doubt signals a historical step forward; and the fact that government representatives and international organisations had finally began to respond to the Berbers pleas to join the debate is a great victory the patient Berbers are proud to achieve. But the government needs to do more than express sympathy unofficially.

  • A quick glance at social media reveals widespread belief amongst many Arab Libyans to oppose the Berber reforms for "freedom", "equality" and "justice". No doubt these people are excused, not so much for their naivety, but from the total black-out imposed by the ousted media and the previous Education Ministry regarding Libya's Berber heritage and culture.

  • The NTC and el-Keib's government have both failed to educate the Libyan people about the "Berbers", just as they have failed to educate the country about their complicated electoral system and the promised democratic transition they claimed to introduce. They even made statements that infuriated the Berbers, as if the objective was to trigger tribal confrontation rather than reap reconciliation during those critical moments when Libya needed nothing but unity.

  • One can only hope the honourable GNC fulfils the promised aspirations of the people and oust "discrimination" as they did say "tyranny". In order for the new leaders to ensure national reconciliation, they "must" educate the Libyans through regular TV and Radio programs and fund debates about the native "Berbers" and encourage them to be proud-of rather than "hate" their history and indigenous identity.

  • In order for the government to fulfil the principles of the (so-far-presumed) revolution, they need to expel, once and for all, the stigmatisation the Imazighen of Libya still suffer in the name of "revolutions" - coming and going as a matter of  novelty without them ever being fully included.

https://www.com/imazighen/berber downloads/constitution-rights-forum-for-amazigh-people.pdf

 

July 2013:

The 60-Committee's Member Allocation: 48 versus 12:

In his first interview as GNC leader, Mr. Abu-Sahmain ('of-the-two-arrows') was reported to have said that he is a Libyan, an Amazigh, an Arab, and a Muslim, leaving some Berber critics to wonder if the president had crossed the line just to emphasise the need for national reconciliation where one can be both: an Arab and a Berber at the same time.

The alarming behaviour of the NFA and the JCP immediately afterwards, namely freezing their activities at the GNC, brings some questions to mind. For example, it is widely reported that it was the Islamist block in the GNC that decided victory for the Berber leader of the GNC, Nuri Abusahmain, in the second round, and if so, why did they vote a Berber leader for the GNC and then freeze or limit their GNC activity a week or so later?

Such group activity could only weaken the injured GNC, while for the record grants them the opportunity to distance themselves from the failure (they helped effect, by not staying united and strong); for which the Berbers may eventually get the blame!

The second twist is far more intriguing. A few weeks later, the GNC finally approved the electoral law for the election of the 60-committee, whose job is to write the draft constitution. Initially, some Berber sources said it was agreed to elect the members of the 60 committee without emphasis on proportional representation on the condition that cultural rights are agreed upon before hand; but after passing the law this was not included in the approved law.

(1) - Boycott:

With only 4 seats given to the Berbers (out of 60), 2 seats for the Tebu, and 6 for women, the immediate reaction of Berber and Tebu leaders was their sudden announcement that they will withdraw their members from the GNC and boycott the constitutional committee elections. From this violation, the indigenous protestors have a valid point, mainly the "deleting" of the paragraph relating to the mechanism of the election law that ensures "agreement" (or "compatibility") on cultural and linguistic components of the society, rather than voting. Given the fact that all laws passed via voting must secure (the-ever-changing) majority, the indigenous groups and Libya's "women" say they will have no say with just 12 votes between all of them. The catalysts for anger was ignited for the Berbers to get ready for integration or else the blame begins to beacon, as intended by the masters!

(2) - Civil Disobedience:

A few days later, the Berber activists even gave the government until Tuesday (23 July 2013) to amend its 60-committee law, or else they will go into "civil disobedience"; knowing quite well what that might entail in the long run for the Berbers themselves - what experts call "tail-spin". The same thing has already happened to the Berber Tuareg of the Sahara during the countless rebellions of the past decades; just as it is happening now in Berber Azawad (in the same month: July 2013), where the Berbers found themselves protesting against what they say is nothing more than another bungled election in the making. After the breaking-fast blasts in Benghazi on the 28th of July 2013 (the anniversary of the assassination of General Abdulfattah Younis), Libya.tv reported a number of people from Benghazi calling for "civil disobedience".

 

The Amazigh Supreme Council Says The Berbers Will Boycott The Constitutional Vote

 


What is strange about the whole thing is that the media (including the best of the Western media) reported the incident with incorrect terms and in violation of basic rules of linguistic and anthropology. Take for example how Reuters announced the event: "Three Libyan ethnic minorities announced on Wednesday they would boycott an election of a committee to draft a new constitution".

The incorrect "three ethnic minorities" phrase (meaning Berbers, Tuareg and Tebu) was repeated across the world and across Libya. Why are the Tuareg and the Berbers often mentioned as two ethnic minorities when they are one indigenous Berber group?

Strange, one might say; but then there is the bigger question of why mislabel "indigenous people" by degrading them to an "ethnic minority"? Why generalise the actions of some politicians on the whole community? This is like considering Londoners a distinct ethnic minority that is not English, in as much as generalising the actions of some Londoners on the whole English community.

The Berbers have been saying for nearly two years now that they are the natives of Libya and not an ethnic minority. The Tuareg are also Berbers. Perhaps the Ousted was right to say there are no ethnic minorities in Libya, because all the tribes of Libya are in fact the "components" of the Libyan society we know as Libya, regardless of number (majority or minority), regardless of gender (male or female), regardless of colour (black or white), regardless of "ethnicity" (Arab, Berber or Tebu), and regardless of age, status, "pocket", or any other characteristic feature that distinguishes one Libyan from another.

What sort of justice depriving the natives of their rights as "the original Libyans" and instead subjecting them to the laws of "minorities"?
Why cannot the laws of minorities and majorities be the same regardless of number, colour or tongue?

 

 

The Statement of Northern Berbers, Tuareg Berbers, And Tebu Regarding The Electoral Law of The Constitutional Committee

17 July 2013:

 

The statement was delivered today in a press conference held at the Rixos Hotel, Tripoli. The names of the three Berber representatives are:

The Supreme Council for the Amazigh of Libya: Mr. Nouri al-Sherwi (المجـــــــلس الأعلى لأمازيغ ليبيا السيد نورى الشروى)
Tebawi National Gathering: Mr. Adam Ali Rami (التـــــــــــــــجمع الوطنى التباوى السيد ادم على رامى)
Tuareg Supreme Council: Mr. Mohammad Ramadan Sidi Omar (المجــــــــــــلس الأعلى للطوارق السيد محمد رمضان سيدى عمر)

The statement declares the following measures:

  1. Boycotting the constitutional committee.
  2. Suspending GNC membership of Berber, Tuareg (also Berbers, by the way), and Tebu members.
  3. Urging the GNC to apply the provisions stipulated in the international conventions concerning minorities.
  4. Allow the GNC until the 23rd of July 2013 to amend the constitutional declaration, before the Berbers and the Tebu "enter civil disobedience"; the consequences of which will be the responsibility of the GNC.

Berber revolutionaries, dignitaries and civil society organisations were reported to have backed the boycott.


Ajdabiya's GNC member denies that Berber GNC members had submitted their resignations

According to LANA, on the 25th of July 2013 Ajdabiya's GNC member, Mr. Sharif Alwafi, had denied the resignation of any of the Berber GNC members, when he told the news agency that no resignations were submitted to the GNC. There was no official announcement neither from the GNC nor from Libyan official media confirming the resignation of any of the Berber members.

This is a big problem currently flourishing in Libya, where people circulate the same piece of information without providing valid references. However, Solidarity Press did say that the Amazigh member at the GNC, Shaaban Abusetta, said that the Berber members "will submit their resignations", but he never confirmed that they had already done so.

However, Mr. Sharif, like all other Arab members of the GNC, had avoided the mention of Tamazight in relation to the forbidden word: "constitution", while iterating the popular belief that the Berbers' cultural rights will be respected. Once again, the Berbers are not talking about the use of their language or culture (since they have been doing so for tens of thousands of years), but simply they are specifically talking about constitutional recognition, which no GNC member nor any other government official had the courage to address in the open by name (without dodging the word or replacing it with "minority" or "component").

The only GNC member who specifically used the forbidden word is Dr. Magarief, when he attended the Amazigh Constitutional Forum in January 2013 - even though the event was off the record, on the side, and as he put it, he was merely expressing his personal opinion.


 


اعتصام امازيغ مدينة زواره بسبب قانون انتخابات الهيئه التاسيسية لصياغه الدستور

According to Abdulaziz Shelghem, from Zuwara, the Libyans rebelled against Gaddafi for justice and equality and yet one still sees the GNC coming against the principles of the 17th of February revolution. What February revolution are they talking about, he asked? He stressed the fact that the Berbers are from this "earth", and all they hope for is justice, without resorting to violence and without having any separatist tendencies.

 

What Does "Civil Disobedience" Mean?

24 July 2013:

The civil disobedience was reported by Solidarity Press to have began on the 24th of July 2013, at 08:00 HH. According to Berber sources the disobedience includes the following actions:

  1. Boycott the constitutional committee elections
  2. Refuse to recognise the authority of the constitutional committee
  3. Close all government offices and services
  4. Close all commercial shops
  5. Close essential roads, seaports and land borders (including Ras Ejdir, Wazen, Dhiba, Zuwara Seaport, coastal road)
  6. Close factories
  7. Close oil fields
  8. Close schools
  9. Lower the Libyan flag

However, two days after the civil disobedience began, Solidarity and LANA had reported that both borders at Wazen and Ras Ejdir are working and open for business as usual; while Libya.tv reported that Berber protestors had closed a pipeline supplying the Mellitah Gas complex.

 

 

Think

  • Why write such unjust declarations, laws and manifestoes in the first place at this difficult stage?
  • Why provoke people with atrocities and labels of "foreign agendas" when they still were healing their deepest wounds?
  • Why lack of security, police and Army to this day?
  • Why leave Libya's borders in disarray and free for criminals at this crucial stage?
  • Why are the free and liberated Libyans still being assassinated and bombed almost every single day?

  • The Berbers were dragged into violence before (several times - right from 1911 and down to 2011) only to be let down afterwards. Most Berbers see it in simple terms, and that is regardless of what politicians plot in the background it is always the poor people who end up fighting each other.

  • Should the Berbers swallow the bait and respond as expected from them: fight each other and destroy whatever is left? No.

  • Most Berbers abhor violence and are shocked by the scale of destruction still grinding the Libyan society before their eyes, let alone agree to any of it. The Berbers and Arabs too are flabbergasted by the scale of terrorism thriving in Libya today. Like Dr. Magarief had said, do not be pawns on others' chessboard. Violence is not the answer.

  • Just take a good look around you, wonder at the tension being pillowed to the heavens, and you will see the answer written in smoke across the "clear" sky.

 

 

Berber Constitution Update (1)

Law 18 (2013): On The Rights of Cultural & Linguistic Components of The Libyan People.
Issued by the GNC (General National Congress).
Date: 30 July 2013.

 

View Law 18(2013) in a new tab: part 1


View Law 18(2013) in a new tab: part 2

Download the full Law 18 (2013): https://www.temehu.com/GNC/law-18-2013-rights-of-cultural-linguistic-components-of-libya.pdf

 

Temehu.com's translation of Law 18 (2013):

Article (1):

The language[s] of the Berbers, the Tuareg and the Tebu are considered part of the linguistic and cultural components of the Libyan society.

Article (2):

All linguistic and cultural components have the right to learn their language as an optional subject in the educational curriculum in accordance with the law in the schools located in "their indigenous areas" and others.

Article (3):

The Minister of Education needs to provide the required books, teachers and all the necessary means to implement this law.

Article (4):

The Culture Ministry will be responsible for coordinating with the local town councils to organise annual or seasonal festivals to "revive" the cultural heritage of the components mentioned in Article (1).

Article (5):

The Culture Ministry will be responsible for establishing and developing research and historical centres to supervise the preservation of the cultural and linguistic identity of the Berbers, (the Tuareg), and the Tebu; as well as for protecting, "originating", developing and publishing the cultural and linguistic heritage of "these components".

Article (6):

All related authorities must take all the necessary procedures required to implement this law.

Article (7):

This law is effective from the date of its publication; and cancels all other contradicting laws; and must be published in the "official newspaper".

The General National Congress - Libya

[End of translation.]

 

Notes:

  • Tuareg language is also a Berber language. For some reason or another, the Libyan government and the world's media still afraid to mention the various Berber tribes as one single, indigenous power.

  • The use of the term "considered" (in Article 1) to describe the native people of Libya is indignifying, suggesting the Berbers "are" not Libyans, but only a "considered" component, else known as minority.

  • What is wrong with saying: "Berber is one of the cultural components of Libya"?
    Or even better, is the indigenous component of Libya.

  • Why only the Arabic component automatically acquires an official status and constitutional recognition?

  • Why does the media refer to the "Amazigh" and the "Tuareg" as two different ethnic components of Libya when everyone knows both are Berbers?

  • Aren't all the Libyan components supposed to be "Libyan components" equal before the same libyan law?

  • It is a good gesture from the GNC to appoint the ministry of culture to "preserve" the heritage of the Berber component, but it is the Berbers themselves who have been responsible for the preservation of their persecuted identity, alone, for thousands of years. Only constitutional recognition can guarantee the required protection.

 

 

The Mourning Day ('As N Tkerkas'): 20 February 2014:

20th february 2014 protest in Zuwarah

Photo source: Zuwarah Media Centre: https://www.facebook.com/zuwara.mc

Berber protesters took to the streets of Zuwarah on what they called the "mourning day" to protest against what the Amazigh council called "fake elections", or in Tamazight "as n tkerkas" ('the day of lies'). One of the slogans chanted during the march is : “we will not recognise those who do not recognise us”, and hence the protest is named: "we will take our rights". In defiance of the official holiday declared by the government, the 20th of February 2014 was declared by Zuwarah's local council an ordinary day, with schools and institutions open for business as usual.

The protest was organised by the Azref Movement and Zuwarah Local Council. On the previous day the Amazigh Supreme Council declared its rejection of the Constitutional Committee, and instead announced its own decision to hold its own elections for a Berber parliament, without providing any details.

The Berbers (including the Tuareg of the Sahara) have boycotted the elections for the following reasons:

  1. Tamazight language should be officially recognised by the constitution without the need for voting, because legitimate rights cannot be voted for.

  2. The constitution should be a matter of consensus (agreement) and not a matter of voting. The Berbers say no constitution can be written without an agreement. The GNC refused to amend Article (30) of the Constitutional Declaration accordingly.

  3. Assuming the Berbers have no option but to accept the voting principle to write the constitution, the four seats allocated to the Berbers (2 for the northern Berbers and 2 for the Berbers of the Sahara) are not enough to represent the native Berber community of Libya. If it comes to voting (within the 60 committee) the Berbers say they will have no voice to effect any change but to accept defeat.

 

Azref: the 58 Constitution Committee

Azref: the manifesto of the protest: "we will take our rights"

the 58 constitutional committee

The Berbers of the Sahara ('Tuareg'):

The 58 Constitutional Committee. The Berbers of the Sahara (the Tuareg) and the Tebu appear to be divided over the boycott. The Tuareg's Supreme Council appears to agree to taking part in the election, but the people of Obari say the council represents only its own opinion and that the Berbers of Obari will boycott the election until Article (30) is amended accordingly.

On the 20th of February 2014 voting was suspending in Obari after a number of polling stations were attacked and set on fire by protesters. As a result all other polling stations were closed for security reasons. However the elections in Ghat and other Tuareg areas were completed without any issues.

Libya Herald said that it was reported that all 31 polling stations in Murzuk were never opened due to Tebu protestors blocking roads leading to the polling stations; and that "The Tebus apparently objected to the fact that despite the boycott, Tebu candidates could be elected by non-Tebu voters because the voting system allowed them to do so".  [www.Libya Herald, article: /2014/02/20/elections-in-obari-halted-after-polling-stations-attacked-71-stations-across-libya-closed-95-open/]

The election committee had announced that the elections in Obari, Murzuk, Kufra and Derna will be re-scheduled for the 26th of February 2014. Critics say the government made no steps to ensure the security of such polling stations and therefore there is no guarantee that the elections will be completed successfully, they said.

The declaration of Obari's people and civil societies in relation to boycotting the election

 

Update: 10 October 2015:

On the 30th of September 2015 the Libyan Amazigh Congress was reported to have rejected the invitation of the CDA to discuss the Berber issue in relation to the constitution [3], stating the same reasons stated previously when the Berber congress boycotted the 60 Committee, namely the Berbers' demand to amend Article (30) of the controversial and unjust Constitutional Declaration imposed by the NTC on Libyan people without a referendum and without discussion.  The Tebu Youth Council ( مجلس شباب التبو ) has also accused the CDA of  "racism" and of violating the Constitutional Declaration by excluding the Tebu from the so-called "work committee" ( استبعاد مكون التبو من عضوية لجنة العمل بالهيئة). Please see CDA tab (above) for further information and a copy of the leaked draft constitution.

Download the manifesto of the Libyan Amazigh Congress rejecting the invitation by the CDA .

 

 

The Reason The Berber Representatives Decided To Boycott The CDA Elections:

 

بالامازيغية - هشام احمادي - عضو المجلس الأعلى لأمازيغ ليبيا ... الى الرأي العام الامازيغي
Hisham Ehmadi, member of the Tamazight Supreme Council, clarifies the council's position to the Berber people.


According to the above video, the Amazigh Council made sure the Imazighen (the Berbers) do not participate in a historical deal which the Arabs would like to legitimise in the constitution, because, he adds, if the Berbers do take place in such a project they would certainly loose their rights and also the rights of the future generations. That is, the Amazigh Council believes boycotting the CDA's elections ensures preserving the Berbers' rights.  

This is true because the principle of voting and passing the draft with a majority of two-thirds-plus-one would guarantee the Arabs to exclude the Berbers and the Tebu with ease; whereas if consensus is implemented instead of voting then the matter would be different.

He also revealed that they (the Amazigh Council) were offered incentives by regional and international institutions and political parties to take part in the CDA's elections and bless the legitimacy of the draft constitution but they refused. It was a big achievement, he said, to make sure not to take part in such a project; despite the futile attempts by some Berber mediators to negotiate between the GNA and the Amazigh Council purely for personal reasons, he affirmed.

He also noted a few more important points (see GNA  or ALT for more on these), including the promising news that the Amazigh Council is currently working to unite with the Berber Tuareg of the south in one congress or one parliament. This is very important for the Berbers because despite both the so-called "Amazigh" and "The Tuareg" being Berbers somehow Libyan and international media outlets refer to them as different ethnic groups, thereby reflecting the shear ignorance prevalent regarding Berber matters.

For the CDA to include the "Amazigh" and the "Tuareg" as two ethnic groups of Libya in its clumsy draft constitution is a fatal violation that could only reflect "ignorance". The Berbers need to appeal against enshrining in the constitution such racial discrimination and instead demand the unification of the various Berber groups as one ethnic group with full and equal rights given to others for granted. 

 

See CDA (above) for more Berber constitutional updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

The Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA)

 

constitutional drafting assembly

Official website of the CDA: http://www.cdalibya.org

 

On the 6th of October 2015 the CDA has finally announced its long-awaited draft constitution. The copy available for download in this page was published by Libyas Channel [1] on the 9th of October 2015.  The draft constitution is still pending discussion and approval by the committee. The committee met in Ghadames on the 11th of October 2015 to discuss the draft [6]. On the 30th of September 2015 the Libyan Amazigh Congress was reported to have rejected the invitation of the CDA to discuss the Berber issue in relation to the constitution, stating the same reasons noted previously when the Berber congress boycotted the 60 Committee  – namely the Berbers' demand to amend Article (30) of the controversial and unjust Constitutional Declaration imposed by the NTC on the Libyan people without a referendum and without a discussion.


Download the first draft constitution of Libya: this document is pending discussion and agreement by the CDA

See below for the second and third draft constitutions.

 

 


Article 30:

Official Language & National Languages

Once more, and like all the previous constitutions of the ousted Libyan governments, this draft constitution at last revealed its intention to keep the Berbers as before: deprived of any official recognition in their own country. When the Berbers protested shortly after the installation of the NTC, they were told to be patient and wait for the final constitution. Four years later the Berbers found themselves back in square one. Let us hope that one day equality will be an essential pillar of Libyan justice.

 

 


Article 166:

National Committee for Preserving Cultural & Linguistic Traditions

The draft constitution calls for establishing a committee for preserving cultural and linguistic traditions of Libya, whatever that means.

 

 


Article 131:

Education & Scientific Research

Likewise the CD of the NTC, the draft constitution of the CDA does not say anything about the kind of scientific research the Libyans are allowed to conduct. No information whatsoever regarding this issue is found in the draft.

 

 


Article 7:

Source of Legislation

This article states that Sharia Law is the source of legislations.

 

 

 

First Draft Constitution

6 October 2015

Download the first draft constitution of Libya: this document is pending agreement by the CDA

 

 

 

 

30 January 2016:

Berbers And Tebu  Reject Constitution Without Libyan Consensus

Berber and Tebu CDA members have declared their rejection of any draft constitution that is not agreed on by the Libyan people.

They have also condemned the exclusion and marginalisation of Berber and Tebu representatives from the so-called UN's Libyan Political Dialogue [12]. They stated that this exclusion was reflected on the results of the CDA which were disappointing and not fulfilling to their aspirations.

The Berber and Tebu members have also condemned the "racist announcement" [11] of the UN's envoy to Libya, Mr. Kobler, who was reported to have said "Libya is an Arab country" [9]. Without a doubt such statement could only inflame the already charged atmosphere the UN claims to defuse.

However, the strange thing about Libyan and foreign media outlets is that they refer to the "Berbers" and the "Tuareg" as two different ethnic groups when both are Berbers (or Imazighen).

Download the Berber-Tebu declaration rejecting any constitution not agreed by all Libyans

The Berber-Tebu declaration is signed by the following members who boycotted the CDA:

Tebu:

  • Khaled Bubaker Wahli
  • Sanussi Hamid Wahli

Berbers:

  • Khayri Hamisi
  • Mhemmed Benthaleb
  • Ibrahim Allaq
  • Ali Aghali

none-arab constitutional suggestion

List of Berber and Tebu members who boycotted the CDA.

 

 

 

All Libyan Languages Official

Draft Constitutional Suggestions Making All Libyan Languages Official

The following draft constitutional suggestions include an article that makes all Libyan languages official [14]. The suggestion is put forwards by the non-Arab members of the CDA, who have later resigned or boycotted the CDA, as noted above.

 

none-arab constitutional suggestion

The proposal of the Berber and Tebu members of the CDA

The proposal (or recommendation) calls for all Libyan languages to be "official" and therefore equal before the law. However, the problem with the Berber-Tebu proposal is that it makes "Tamazight" and "Tuareg" as two different languages when in fact they are one Language.

 

arab constitutional suggestion

The proposal of the Arab members of the CDA

Still worse, the Arab members who suggested to make these language "national" but not "official" have even included "Ghadamsi" language and "other languages" in Article (27). This is like making "Trabelsi", "Mesrathi" and "Shergawi" as three different languages when they are all one "Arabic" language.

Download the draft constitutional recommendations that included officialising Tamazight

 

 

3 February 2016

Second Draft Constitution

On the 3rd of February 2016 the CDA announced its second draft constitution [13]. The CDA said this draft will be the basis of all future drafts. The draft will be submitted to the "office of the chairman" for revision.

According to a number of sources the draft harbours regional tendencies that may harm the unity of Libya, such as the suggestion of Libya having three capital cities and three central banks; while the suggestion that Libya is an "Arab" country has already angered Berber and Tebu members who called for a constitution that recognises all Libyans equally in every sense.

 

article 3 of second draft 2016

Article 3 of the second draft of February 2016, outlining the three capital cities of Libya.

The three capital cities of the so-called "Libyan Republic" are as follows:

  1. Tripoli is the political capital,
  2. Benghazi is the economic capital,
  3. Sabha is the cultural & tourist capital.

Despite the fact that the Berbers are the natives of Libya they were denied official recognition by all the previously-imposed constitutions in the same way the latest "Arab-written" draft  continues to delve deeper into denial and discrimination under the pretext of national unity. (See what Algeria did, below, to safeguard its national unity.)

The federalist bloc in Cyrenaica has also rejected the second draft constitution, stating that the attempt to make Benghazi the economic capital is a superficial or "misleading" attempt to please the federalists; and that the draft needs to provide guarantees that all the economic institutions of Libya be moved to Cyrenaica accordingly.

The second draft shows signs of playing with words (in relation to identity) in order to bypass the "thorn". Maybe one day Libya will see proper freedom and democracy in which all Libyans are truly equal before the law. Here is how the "identity" article has changed in the latest draft:

 

article 2 of the second draft

Article 2 of the second draft of 2016

Translation (by temehu.com):
"The Libyan Republic is part of the Arab nation, the Islamic world, Africa and the basin of the White Mediterranean Sea; based on united and diversified principles; and is proud of all its social, cultural and linguistic components."

See below for the third draft of 2016 for how this "word play" continues to deny the Berbers the recognition and the "freedom" they thought they fought for.


Download the second draft constitution of Libya (February 2016)

 

 

 

kabyle flag

7 February 2016

Historical News: Algeria Officialises Tamazight In The Constitution

Probably irrelevant to this page but of significant importance to the Berbers of Tamazgha ('North Africa'), the Algerian Parliament today, Sunday the 7th of February 2016, has passed the draft revised constitution to make Tamazight an "official" language in the Algerian constitution [15].

The amended draft was passed by an overwhelming majority of 499 MPs, with only 2 MPs voting against, and 16 abstained. The amended draft also calls for the creation of an academy of experts to promote Tamazight. The proposed changes were made public last month by the head of the presidential office in this tube.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said the constitutional revision that included promoting Tamazight as an official language is "the crowning of the political reforms" originally initiated by the president Abdelaziz Bouteflika [16]. He also noted that the revised draft "will help protect the country from political upheavals and threats to the national security" [17].

Let us hope the Arab Libyans see the light that made them speak the words of "wisdom" and do what is right to save Libya's unity and national security. Hitting a brick wall with your head, like Gaddafi had said, would only damage your head. Let us hope the Arabs of Libya build the courage needed to respect the persecuted Libyans in the same way they seek the same respect for themselves. As for the UN, one can only say: shame on you.

 

 

15 February 2016

Ali Altarhouni

Albayda Appeals Court had ruled that Ali Altarhouni (the former head of the CDA) was ineligible to head the CDA because he was an American citizen.

 

 

19 April 2016

Third Draft Constitution: illegal draft

On the 19th of April 2016 yet another copy of the so-called "constitution" appeared from the closed corridors of oppression. The copy was presented to the HoR on the 26th of April 2016.

However, Albayda Appeals Court had ruled that the latest draft is illegal due to a number of violations committed by the committee. The first violation is that the CDA (upon returning to Libya from Oman) amended the voting quorum to render the Oman votes legal; and they did this because the meetings in Oman (where the UN and the CDA met to dictate their agendas) were boycotted by a number of CDA members and therefore the voting within the CDA lacked the required quorum.

The required quorum is "two-thirds plus one of the total elected members", which was changed by the CDA (in Oman and under the supervision of the UN) to "fifty percent plus one of the attendees" - note the change of "elected members" to "attendees", which indicates some kind of  "dodgy activity" to dictate a certain ideology regardless of the number of boycotting elected members. Why (on earth) should the CDA meet in Oman? What is wrong with Libya? And why Oman in particular and not Honolulu? Most of the boycotting members, as reported in this page, are of Berber and Tebu origin - the persecuted natives of Libya.

Another reported violation was that the CDA did not consult with the HoR before presenting the draft constitution for referendum as stated by Article 51 of the UN-violated LPA. Here is a copy of the article:

"Article (51)
The Constitution Drafting Assembly will take the opinion of the House of Representatives and the State Council on the draft constitution upon the completion of the final draft and before it is sent for referendum. The remarks of such bodies must be sent in writing to the Assembly within one month of them receiving the draft constitution."

The CDA had also violated Article 52 of the LPA, which stipulates that the work of the CDA should not continue after the 24th of March 2016. Yet the draft was presented to the HoR in late April 2016, and (as of today: August 2016) the CDA still in operation!

"Article (52)
The work of the Constitution Drafting Assembly shall continue until a date no later than 24 March 2016. In case the Assembly is not able to conclude its mission by that date, a committee consisting of five representatives from each of the House of Representatives and the State Council with the participation of the Presidency Council of the Council of Ministers, shall be formed at a date that does not exceed two weeks of that date to deliberate regarding this matter."

This means that according to the boycotting members, and according to the LPA, the CDA has no legitimacy to continue after the 24th of March 2016, and therefore the draft constitution is nothing but ink on paper. Even the controversial Constitutional Declaration (imposed by the NTC) states that the work of the CDA shall not continue after 120 days after its first meeting.

Nonetheless, this [illegal] draft continues to play with words and identities to please certain ideologies in which Libya continues to impose the Arab identity as the only official identity in Libya (with the supervision of the UN in Oman, of course). The identity Article 2 of the second draft, as shown above, was changed, yet again, as follows:

 

article 2 of the second draft

Article 2 of third draft of 2016

The following is temehu.com's translation:

"The Libyan Identity is based on united and diversified principles; the Libyans are proud of all their social, cultural, and linguistic components; and Libya is considered part of the Arab nation, Africa, the Islamic world and the basin of the White Mediterranean Sea. The Languages spoken by the Libyans or part of them including Arabic, Amazigh, Targi and Tebu are considered a cultural and linguistic heritage and a common asset for all Libyans; the state shall guarantee all the necessary measures to protect them and preserve their originality and develop their teaching and usage to those who speak them. Arabic is the language of the State. The law shall organise in the first parliamentary term the details to integrate the other languages in the fields of public life on the local level and on the state level."

The strange thing about the above article is that it lists the languages of the Sahara's Berbers (Targi) and the other Berbers (Amazigh) as two different languages when everyone knows that both are Berber languages (Tamazight). In fact the Tuareg call their language "Tamasheght" and the other Berbers call their language "Tamazight", both of which are the same - masculinised by fake Berberists as "Amazigh".

Why is there the tendency (from international media as well) to separate between the different Berber groups and present them as separate ethnic minorities? Is it because the Berbers occupy nearly half of Africa where uniting them would create more problems for the Arab regimes than they could (for the time being) handle? 

The article also uses the term "including" (including Arabic, Amazigh, Targi, Tebu), which indicates there are other languages spoken in Libya but which the article fails to name. The farce continues.

 

Download an Arabic copy of the third draft constitution of  Libya (April 2016)

Download the unofficial English translation of the third draft constitution of Libya (April 2016)

 

 

 

July 2016 Update

Did The The CDA Present Its Draft Constitution To The Dialogue Team ?

It was widely reported by the media that the CDA had revealed its final draft constitution during their meeting with the members of the Libyan Dialogue team in Tunis (16-19 July 2016). However some members of the CDA were shocked by the media's strange circulation of such false news, and, according to Benghazi's LANA, the CDA made no such announcement and no draft constitution was presented to the dialogue team [18] . A copy of the article is saved here.

 

 

3 August 2016

17 CDA Members Reject The Third Draft Constitution

It was reported that seventeen members from the CDA had rejected the results of the CDA including the third draft constitution, and thus requested from the HoR to return the proposed draft back to the CDA. (This last request is illegal because, as noted above, the CDA no longer exists after the 24th of March 2016).

They have also condemned the actions of the UN regarding this matter, accusing the UN of hindering and delaying the work of the CDA [21]. These 17 members are as follows:

 

names of the 17 CDA members

The 17 CDA members who rejected the latest draft constitution.
See above for a list of names of the Berber and Tebu boycotting members.

 

 

5 August 2016 Update

The HoR Will Discuss The Proposed Draft Constitution

The HoR will meet on the 8th of August 2016 to discuss the proposed draft constitution [20].

 

 

 

 

CDA Headquarters

29 July 2017 Update

The CDA Regurgitates Its Final Draft Constitution

On the 29th of July 2017 the CDA had once more shocked the Libyans by dramatically voting its final draft constitution without reaching consensus with neither all the CDA's members nor with the two ethnic groups of Libya: the Tebu and the Berbers (the Berber Amazigh and the Berber Tuareg). Out of 60 CDA members only 43 members voted for the proposed draft (out of 44 attendees) and one voted against.

After arguing and discussing the various proposals for a number of years the CDA suddenly made its decision shortly after the agreement struck between Haftar and Sarraj in Paris, which included holding presidential elections in March 2018. Since the presidential elections cannot  take place without a final constitution the CDA appears to have had no option but to hurry with its draft on the 29th of July 2017.

Two days later the CDA informed the HNEC to prepare for a referendum on the proposed draft constitution [27]. The HNEC needs the HoR to prepare a special law to oversee the process before it can prepare the referendum. The HNEC has 30 days (starting from the 29th of July 2017) to prepare such a referendum. Some fear the HoR could delay the process beyond this date, especially since the draft has not been approved by neither the Berber nor the Tebu members of the CDA. Once the proposed draft had been approved by two-thirds of the Libyan population the HNEC has 180 days to prepare for the elections to the Senate and House of Representatives. If less than two-thirds of the population approve the draft then the draft must go back to the drawing board and the process started allover again.

The GNA's president had welcomed the flawed draft and said nothing about any of the above violations [25]. The HoR so far is silent about the matter, even though many HoR members have "personally" rejected the draft. The Tebu members of the CDA had also rejected the draft [24]. The Amazigh Supreme Council was reported to have said that it will take the CDA to court over the proposed draft as well as write its own Berber constitution.

On the 10th of August 2017 the CDA's president, Mr. Nouh Abdulsayyed, sent a letter to the HoR urging the parliament to issue a referendum law as soon as possible so that the Libyans can vote for  the draft constitution [29].

 

The final draft was widely criticised for a number of reasons, the most important of which are:

  • Legality of the CDA: the CDA itself is an illegal institution because its validity had expired in October 2015 and therefore it has no official authorisation to propose anything. To this, the CDA replied [22] saying most other institutions, like the HoR, had also expired, and therefore the CDA admits (indirectly) that its authority had expired.

  • Legality of the Draft Constitution: according to Dr. Ibtisam Bhih, a member of the CDA ( ابتسام بحيح - عضوة الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور ) the whole draft is illegal because when the CDA members decided to vote whether to vote for the whole draft as "one bundle"  (as opposed to voting over individual chapters [chapter by chapter]) only 39 members voted for voting for the whole draft in one go, and this, she says, is less than the required 41 votes, and thus the whole draft constitution is illegal [31]. The second violation, according to Dr. Ibtisam, is that the second session (the session in which 43 voted for the draft and one voted against) began by reading the chapters of the draft to vote for as one bundle despite the fact that this did not secure the required 41 votes in the earlier session (Session 43). She also noted that this second session (Session 73) was never closed because the voting was never finalised and stopped at vote 42 and thus it was not stated who did vote against the draft [31, starting at 1:01:10 of the video]. In fact she said she was not personally asked if she approves or rejects the draft constitution and therefore "my voice was lost", she said. The draft itself (click here for a copy) confirms this because it lists the names of those who voted for the draft but it does not say who voted against it (see the end of the draft constitution). In response to Dr. Ibtisam's revelations, Mr. Abulqasem Basheer, a member of the CDA, said the internal regulations were amended on that day where the required 41 votes were amended to "half plus one" (which he says is 21 votes, which is far less than 39). He also said Dr. Ibtisam left the hall when the hall was invaded by protesters and therefore she was not present in the end. Dr. Ibtisam responded by stating that the final draft constitution requires two-thirds-plus-one and therefore 41 votes are required. Changing or amending this regulation on the final day (just one hour before the final vote) indicates that they (the CDA members) can change the law according to what they see fit. In short, the voting procedure was wholly unprofessional with confusing reports of armed men attacking the hall, and the president of the CDA calling for a second vote on Sunday (the following day). [Update: on the 16th of August the Appeal Court has ruled that the CDA's vote is invalid and also stopped the decision to refer the draft constitution to the House of Representatives because of a number of violations including this one. See Referendum Tab for details.]

  • Saturday: the voting over the final draft occurred on Saturday the 29th of July 2017, which is a holiday and therefore, critics say, the voting is illegal [31]. [Update: on the 16th of August the Appeal Court has ruled that the CDA's vote is invalid and also stopped the decision to refer the draft constitution to the House of Representatives because of a number of violations including this one. See Referendum Tab for details.]

  • Arab: some Libyans say they are not happy with the name of the country, namely "The Libyan Republic", because it does not include the word "Arab". While non-Arab Libyans say the draft constitution expresses a fundamental Arab attitude towards the natives of Libya and attempts to impose "Arabism" – the false notion that Libya is an Arab country – even though no such direct term was used, and instead it was rather implied indirectly by stating that Libya is "part of the Arab world" – probably an attempt to play with words in order to please the natives. [In fact the draft carries on stating that Libya  is part of Africa and part of the Mediterranean Basin, and presumably part of planet Earth in the Solar System in the Milky Way, not far from "The Great Attractor" in this visible Universe!]

  • Ethnicity: the draft constitution lists the so-called "Amazigh" (the Berbers of the north) and "The Tuareg" (the Berbers of the south) as being two separate ethnic groups when in fact they are both Berbers belonging to the same Imazighen nation of North Africa. The Tuareg call themselves "Imushagh" and speak "Tamasheght" which is the same as Tamazight the Amazigh speak. The Berbers of Libya should strongly object to this discrimination being enshrined in the constitution and instead request the unification of both tribes as members of the same ethnic group - namely the Imazighen ('The Berbers'). There are more than 40 major Berber tribal groups still inhabiting North Africa to-day including the Imushagh group of the Great Sahara (which foreigners call "Tuareg"). 

  • Unjust Law: ethnic groups were excluded from the democratic process by stipulating conditions they knew the natives would not accept to begin with, like voting on matters that should be decided by agreement. The Berbers say basic human rights should be enshrined in the constitution and should not be subjected to a referendum in which the majority Arabs can easily reject. This means that those who wrote both (the CD and the election laws [including those of the GNC elections]) knew such unjust conditions would trigger the revolt of the ethnic groups. The Berbers objected then(and hence the boycott of both the elections of the HoR and the CDA) but to no avail - the majority dictate, as usual, what they see fit: "tyranny" with an international backing.

  • Berber : Tamazight languages are not, once more, official languages of the Arab Islamic State.

  • Tebu: Tebu language is not, once more, an official language of the Arab Islamic State.

  • Religion: not recognising other religions could be considered discriminatory on religious grounds, since Article 6 declares Libya an Islamic State, while Articles 69 and 99 state that only Muslims can become members of the parliament (the Council and the Senate).

  • Contradiction: many critics say Article 192 contradicts Article 99. Article 192 states that those with dual citizenship and those who acquired another nationality cannot assume sovereign functions. This prohibits the president, the ministers, and all MPs and other government employees from assuming any functions in Libya if they have another nationality (without any conditions specified). While Article 99 (clause 2) states that to run for presidency (which is a sovereign function) one must had not acquired another nationality unless this nationality had been renounced at least a year before candidacy. Some CDA members [see reference 31] tried to explain this contradiction by stating that Article 192 applies to foreigners who acquired a Libyan nationality, while Article 99 applies to Libyans who acquired a foreign nationality; but this explanation is not clear by the wording of these Articles and therefore even though this may have been the intention of the CDA it is not what is written in the constitution. The wording of these two articles needs to change to reflect the implied meaning in order to avoid the clear contradiction. Unless, of course, the contradiction (like many elsewhere) are there for other reasons!

  • Consensus: no consensus was reached. According to the law passed by the GNC the draft constitution has to be approved by the Berber and Tebu members of the CDA,  in addition to the two-thirds-plus-one of the CDA members. When the CDA's president Mr. Nouh Abdulsayyed (نوح عبد السيد المغربي رئيس الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور) was asked about this, his reply was that the Berbers of the north (or the Amazigh) had boycotted the CDA's elections to start with and therefore they have no rights in the matter [23]- that is they gave up their rights, which sounds rather "childish" answer since this is no democracy for which the whole of Libya was destroyed.

  • Flag & Anthem: this is the first time in Libya's history the constitution does not define a flag and a national anthem for Libya [28]. The flag was left for the (forthcoming) parliament to decide, instead of enshrining the current flag (of the so-called revolution) in the constitution; and therefore critics say when the president is elected (after the constitution has been approved by [2/3 of] the Libyan people) the president would have neither a flag nor an anthem for the presidential ceremony.
    green flagImagine a scenario where Gaddafi's loyalists win the election (the election that will be organised in the current chaos and therefore the results could also be tampered with), and then decide to reinstate the green flag as the official flag of Libya and also reintroduce the Jamahiriya anthem. No one could (legally-speaking) say a word. The fact that the flag and the anthem were left out from the current draft could indicate that the authors of the draft (or at least some members who have influence on the rest of the CDA) have no intention of enshrining the current flag of the revolution in the constitution! Either way it is not up to them to decide such matters and therefore the Libyan people should reject the current draft solely based on this single violation.

  • Parliament Seats: the seats of the House of Representatives have not been specified, as opposed to the seats of the Senate (78 members).

  • Freedom: vague limitations are also imposed on freedom of expression and scientific research that might allow government institutions to silence any undesired criticism or unwanted research that might be considered to oppose Sharia.

  • Sharia Law: approving Sharia as the only source of legislation without any specifications or further information is considered by many Libyans to limit freedom according to the interpretations and understanding of Sharia. The same mistake was made by the authors of NTC's CD. Such issues ought to be clearly defined and specifically stated which school of Sharia would be applied in order to avoid the danger of human rights being annulled if future law-makers regard them as being in violation of Sharia. Article 159 states that the National Council for Human Rights shall promote human  rights found in  Islamic  Sharia  and  international conventions. It is not known how any council can reconcile Sharia with international conventions - the two are contradictory by nature. Moreover, Article 161 does state that members of the Sharia Research Council can issue  fatwas  according to the "dominant jurisprudential heritage", but does not say what this heritage is. The use of "dominant" indicates the existence of other heritages which thus would be ignored.

  • Restrictions: Article 195 of the draft prohibits amending a number of articles including Articles 2 and 6. Article 2 marginalises Tamazight and Tebu languages and therefore there is no future chance of any kind of change regarding constitutionalising Tamazight and Tebu languages as official languages of Libya; and Article 6 specifies Sharia as the only source of legislation and therefore this cannot be changed either.

  • Capital City: a team of activists, dignitaries and elders from Benghazi met the HoR's president on Saturday the 12th of August 2017, requesting the HoR rejects the draft constitution because it does not represent the various components of the Libyan society. They said they will not recognise any constitution that does not make Benghazi a second capital city of Libya [30]. Article 3 of the second draft proposed in February 2016 did include three capital cities for Libya: Tripoli as the political capital, Benghazi as the economic capital, and Sabha as the cultural & tourist capital, but the draft was rejected.

  • Conclusion: in short the CDA had failed to enshrine the aspirations of the 17th of February Revolution which allegedly denounced any form of tyranny and called for freedom and equality - that is all Libyans (Arabs, Berbers and Tebu) should be 100% equal before the law. This unconditional equality (in practice) needs to be enshrined in the constitution if the constitution to be regarded just and democratic; otherwise replacing one tyranny with another has nothing to do with revolution, freedom or equality. Who knows, maybe the "Arab Spring revolutions" apply to Arabs only; in which case the Berbers need to await the Berber Spring, and likewise the Tebu must wait for the Tebawi Spring.

The saga continues.

 

Arabic: download an Arabic copy of the final draft Libya Constitution (29 July 2017)

English: download an English translation of the final draft Libya Constitution (29 July 2017)
(Prepared in this format by temehu.com from 12 articles written and translated into English by Safa Alharathy
and published by Libyaobser.ly)

Download the LOOPS report regarding the story of the CDA including the boycott of the Berbers and the Tebu

Download a list of the CDA members who voted for the draft constitution

Download a list of the CDA members who voted against the draft constitution

 

 

14 August 2017 Update

Referendum Law Draft

See Referendum tab for more on referendum.

 

 

16 August 2017 Update

Bayda's Court of Appeal Rules CDA's Vote Invalid محكمة استئناف البيضاء قبلت الطعن في جلسة الهيئة الخاصة بإقرار المسودة

Bayda's Court of Appeal has accepted the appeal in the session of the CDA to approve the draft constitution. The court has ruled that the CDA's vote is invalid and also stopped the decision to refer the draft constitution to the House of Representatives for formulating a referendum law. See Referendum tab for more on this.

 

 

References

[1] libyaschannel.com/2015/10/09/المسودة-النهائية-للدستور-الليبي-مخرج/
[5] https://www.temehu.com/CDA/draft-constitution-6-october-2015.pdf : the draft constitution of Libya
[6] lana-news.ly/ara/news/view/87448/ (هيئ صياغ مشروع الدستور الجديد تناقش المسود النهائي بمدين غدامس)
[7] https://www.temehu.com/imazighen/berberdownloads/amazigh-congress-rejects-invitation-by-cda.pdf
[9] spiegel.de/international/world/german-un-envoy-martin-kobler-on-spread-of-is-in-libya-a-1075475.html
[10] https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/01/27/no-un-sanctions-yet-hor-cannot-unilaterally-amend-libya-deal-kobler/
[11] https://youtu.be/Lein-zbTotM
[12] https://www.temehu.com/imazighen/berberdownloads/berbers-reject-draft-constitution-2016.jpg
[13] lananews.com/ar/2016/02/البابا-المسودة-الإخيرة-لهيأة-صياغة-ال/
[14] https://www.temehu.com/CDA/constitutional-suggestions-making-all-languages-official.pdf
[15] aps.dz/en/algeria/10687-parliament-passes-revised-constitution
[16] aps.dz/en/algeria/10682-sellal-presents-draft-revised-constitution
[17] aps.dz/en/algeria/10686-president-bouteflika-wants-consensual-revision-of-constitution
[18] lananews.com/ar/?p=1536
[20] https://youtu.be/n2eX7mFqPzg
[21] alwasat.ly/ar/mobile/article?articleid=113733
[22] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOjTB6vKgBA
[23] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfbgHgu0eW4
[24] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/148811/
[25] https://www.temehu.com/CDA/GNA-agrees-to-draft-proposal.jpg
[26] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OI2VUVVCHk
[27] https://www.temehu.com/CDA/HNEC-to-organise-elections-over-draft-constitution.jpg
[28] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFuHHXsTCYc
[29] https://www.temehu.com/CDA/CDA-urges-HoR-to-issue-referendum-law.jpg
[30] https://www.temehu.com/CDA/benghazi-elders-meet-HoR.jpg
[31] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whS7V-e2dts

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

Constitution Referendum

الاستفتاء على مسودة مشروع الدستور

 

 

مشروع الدستور وأزمة ليبيا .. إلى الاستفتاء أم الاستعصاء؟

 

14 August 2017 Update

HoR Refers Draft Constitution To The Legislative Committee

On the 14th of August 2017 the HoR discussed the request and transferred the issue to the "Legislative Committee" (اللجنة التشريعية) to prepare a law for the referendum (بإعداد قانون الاستفتاء على مسودة مشروع الدستور). Critics say the number of MPs attended the session was not enough to pass the request, but Mr. Ezeddin Gueireb (عز الدين قويرب), a member of the HoR, confirmed to Libyas Channel that the HoR discussed the matter legally and that ninety MPs attended the session [1].

In relation to the rumours stating that the referendum law draft was originally proposed by the CDA itself, Dr. Ibtisam Bhih (ابتسام بحيح - عضوة الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور), a member of the CDA, confirmed to Libyas Channel [1] that the draft referendum law was originally proposed on the 16th of April 2016 by a 3-members committee from within the CDA and in participation with the HNEC and the HoR.

She also revealed that the draft law was kept secret and that ever since they (those who opposed the draft proposal) tried to see this draft but to no avail because there was a clear silence regarding both: the purposed draft constitution and the proposed referendum law. She categorically stated that she and other members requested from the CDA to allow them access to the proposed referendum law but their request was denied and that to this day many members never saw the draft referendum law.

Apparently the "proposed law" was presented to the HoR for confirmation, but the HoR was also completely silent regarding this matter. However, Mr. Ezeddin Gueireb did confirm [1] that the legislative committee had indeed received two referendum law projects: one from the CDA and the other from the HNEC. To this Dr. Ibtisam Bhih (ابتسام بحيح) replied that it is incorrect to say that the CDA had presented a project to the HoR because we (most members of the CDA) had no knowledge of such project. She also said it would have been wiser if Mr. Gueireb instead said "some members of the CDA" had presented a referendum law project to the HoR.

When Mr. Omar Alneaas (عمر النعاس - عضو الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور) was asked to confirm if the CDA did present the HoR with its "referendum law project", he tried repeatedly to avoid a direct answer and instead he insisted that it was not a law or a project but just "a proposal" put forward by some members of the CDA and that anyone can propose anything. This is very strange answer because logic states that it would be essential that all the members of the CDA should first talk together about any proposals and then agree on a final draft to present to the HoR. For a few members to prepare "whatever" in secret and present it to the HoR is a clear that there is something going on.

According to Dr. Ibtisam Bhih the 3 members of this CDA referendum law committee are:

  • Mr Mhemmed Habib (from Fezzan )
  • Mr. Omar Alneaas (Cyrenaica)
  • Dr. Alhadi Muhadra (Tripolitania)

The committee held their sessions in Tunisia, she said. This indicates that there is a secret bloc or organisation within the CDA and HNEC that is working independently of the rest of the members of the CDA and the HNEC.

To complicate matters worse, Mr. Abulqasem Basheer, also a CDA member (ابوالقاسم بشير يوشع), reveals that the Tunisia meeting of the 3-member committee was nothing more than a consultation meeting, but he never saw the draft referendum law [1]. He also stated that a referendum law is not required because the HNEC, he said, had earlier stated that once the draft constitution is ready "it can be put" to referendum without stating that a law is required.

Mr. Basheer said if it was put by law then the HoR can issue the law, but if it was put by decree then even the GNA can issue the decree - even the HNEC, he said, can do that.  This is, again, very strange, and, like everything else since February 2011, it is impossible to know what is going on.

When the presenter asked Mr. Basheer if the HNEC never defined which authority can create a referendum law (or decree) then how he (Mr. Basheer) connected this with the GNA, his reply was that the CD (the NTC's constitutional Declaration) did not specify which authority would organise the referendum and therefore anyone can do that. 

According to Mr. Ezeddin Gueireb Mr. Basheer's revelations are not correct and that he rather prefers not to comment on such matters, but when the presenter insisted he replied that Mr. Basheer's revelations appear to have been designed to put pressure on the HoR in that if the HoR does not issue the referendum law then they or anyone else can [1]. According to Dr. Ibtisam Bhih (a member of the CDA herself) Mr. Basheer's revelations are not correct.

 

 

16 August 2017 Update

Bayda's Court of Appeal Rules CDA's Vote Invalid استئناف البيضاء توقف قرار إحالة مسودة الدستور إلى مجلس النواب

Dr. Abdul Hamid Jibril, amember of the constituent body of the Department of Cyrene, was reported to have said on Wednesday that the Bayda's Court of Appeal has accepted the appeal in the session of the CDA to approve the draft constitution (محكمة استئناف البيضاء قبلت الطعن في جلسة الهيئة الخاصة بإقرار المسودة). Mr. Jibril said the court has ruled that the CDA's vote is invalid and therefore the court has ordered to stop the decision to refer the draft constitution to the House of Representatives [2].

Libyas Channel said on the following day that the court decision was based on the fact that the CDA had violated the internal regulations when voting for the draft, and also the voting occurred on Saturday the 29th of July 2017 which is an official holiday [5]. Reportedly the voting procedure was wholly unprofessional with confusing reports of armed men attacking the hall, and the president of the CDA calling for a second vote on Sunday (the following day) [6].

On the following day, Mr. Z. Dghim, a member of the House of Representatives, was reported to have said that after this victory "we have no constitution project to refer to the HNEC with a referendum law":
"بهذا الحكم لم يعد لدينا مشروع دستور لنحيله للمفوضية صحبة قانون استفتاء . . . موضحًا أن قبول الطعن بالشق المستعجل دلالة لوجاهة الطعون، وبالتالي فالحكم النهائي مضمون . . . " [3].

 

court of appeal decision
Bayda's Court of Appeal Decision
Click here for a larger image

 

 

17 August 2017 Update

CDA Will Appeal To The Supreme Court

On the other hand, Badri Alsharif, a member of the CDA, said they will challenge the decision of the Bayda court by appealing to the Supreme Court:
(هذا الحكم سيتم الطعن فيه أمام المحكمة العليا) [4].
He said the CDA is confident the Supreme Court will be on their side.

 

 

18 August 2017 Update

حكم استئناف البيضاء: إعادة لصياغة السطور أم نهاية لهيئة الدستور؟

 

إعادة لصياغة السطور أم نهاية لهيئة الدستور؟

 

Among the speakers in the above discussion is Mr. Ahmed Qunsel, the member of the CDA who challenged the CDA's vote  (أحمد علوان القنصل - عضو الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور). Apparently the Bayda's Court of Appeal made its decision in response to Mr. Qunsel's challenge. According to Mr. Qunsel there are a number of reasons for his challenge, some of which he cannot disclose because they contain "names of persons".

However, Dr. Abdulhamid Jibril (عبد الحميد جبريل - عضو الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور) said there are two more challenges on their way to other courts (other than the Bayda's Court of Appeal); one of which calls for cancellation of the draft constitution in its entirety.

Nonetheless, Mr. Qunsel disclosed two reasons for his challenge: the first is that the internal regulations of the CDA were not followed during the session in that the members need to discuss the articles of the draft and add any notes or corrections; then agree on the method of voting (chapter by chapter or as a bundle); then vote over the draft. Even the voting itself, he said, was violated.

The second reason is that the decision was made on Saturday which is a holiday. He said he was recalled by his constituency for consultation over the draft (that is in Zawiya) and that he was not present during the voting because it was a holiday. Sessions can be held, he added, on public holidays but these are called "consultative sessions" in which no decisions shall be made or taken. He also stated that he was not notified about the voting session. 

On the other hand, Mr. Emrajea' Nouh, a member of the CDA ( إمراجع نوح - عضو الهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور) said there is no law barring them from working on Saturdays, and that Decree 489 of 2005 (issued by Gaddafi's GPC), which made Saturday a holiday, was automatically cancelled by Law 17 (of 2013), which allowed the CDA the right to define its working days.

But in response to this, Dr. Jibril noted that Article 46 of Law 17 (of 2013) clearly states that the CDA must formulate its internal regulations and that Article 10 (under Clause 8) of the internal regulations states that the CDA must define the days of the week in which they can work (work-days) and the days in which they cannot work (holidays or rest-days); and that according to Article 12 the CDA must issue a decree deciding these work days for the members of the CDA. This, Dr. Jibril said, was never done. The CDA never decided such days and therefore the CDA is in violation of its internal regulations.

Thus, Dr. Jibril asked, if the CDA is incapable of respecting their own regulations how could they be able to write a constitution for the whole country?

 

7 September 2017 Update

Sarraj Warns HoR

 

Sarraj tells the HoR: there are other alternatives to pass the referendum law! If the HoR does not perform its duty during this difficult period then there are other alternatives, such as the judicial authority, he says, to impose the referendum law. This means that the current draft constitution (with all its violations and defects) can be imposed on the Libyan people in the name of rescuing the country from the imposed chaos. Mr. Sarraj said nothing about any of the violations littering the proposed draft constitution. Are we inching closer to dividing Libya than ever before?

 

 

13 September 2017

Legality of Sarraj Bypassing The Parliament

 


Stolen Democracy: السراج ومقترح تجاوز البرلمان إلى الإنتخابات

Sarraj to bypass the parliament regarding presidential elections!

 

 

The saga continues.

 

 

 

 

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whS7V-e2dts
[2] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/150282/
[3] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/150306/
[4] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/150331/
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Z9ooggjfQ
[6] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/148720/
[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHBGzRAddUk
[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC2JPWHViUQ