Khalid al-Mishri, head of the advisory State Council and member of Justice and Construction Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, demands the board of the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) suspend the electoral laws recently passed by the Libyan Parliament.
Al-Mishri sent a letter to the HNEC board in which he described both the elections laws as a violation of the political agreement and the constitutional declaration. He argued that this necessitates their suspension until an agreement is reached with the advisory State Council, citing a previous letter sent to HNEC on December 2018.
Mishri stressed the importance of taking such a step because he argued that some Parliament members took a unilateral measure on issuing President and Parliament election law, which violates the council statute and the political agreement implied in the constitutional declaration.
The letter of December 2018 was related to suspending Law No. 6 of 2018 on the Constitution Referendum until the advisory State Council and Parliament reached an agreement. Until then, argued Mishri, the HNEC must suspend the two election laws.
It also highlighted Article 23 of the political agreement which stipulates: “Without prejudice to its legislative competencies, the House of Representatives and State Council will, two months before concluding the work of the Constitution Drafting Assembly, establish a joint committee between them.” It continued, “which task shall be proposing laws on referendum and general elections as well as other relevant legislations necessary for the completion of the transitional period. The draft laws shall be submitted to the House of Representatives for adoption.”
Further, “The House of Representatives, the State Council and the Government of National Accord shall commit themselves to the promotion of cooperation and coordination between them so as to provide a suitable atmosphere for the conduct of the referendum on the Constitution and the general elections, as well as the peaceful transfer of power.”
According to the Article, “Should it be necessary to introduce subsequent amendment to the Constitutional Declaration that affects, whether directly or indirectly, the Agreement or any of the institutions that emanate from it, the House of Representatives and State Council shall commit to achieve consensus among themselves to agree on the format of such amendment.”
The letter touched on Article 12 of the additional provisions stipulating, “All institutions stipulated in the Libyan Political Agreement shall derive their legitimacy from the Constitutional Declaration and its amendment as annexed to this Agreement after its endorsement and adoption in its entirety, signing and entry into force.”
“The final endorsement of this amendment shall be given by the House of Representatives, without amendment, based on the mechanism stipulated in the Constitutional Declaration,” the Article added. The letter indicated that such measures violate the political agreement between the advisory State Council and Parliamentary committees in Rabat on 1 October.
The concluding statement indicated, “We call for the international community to support the elections in Libya as per agreed laws and political dialogue outcomes.”
Mishri described such insistence as an unacceptable coup on the political path and constitutional declaration, and said he will hold the HNEC board responsible on the legal, moral and security levels should they proceed forward with it.