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Libyan Parliament adopts amendment that divides the country into three constituencies

The Libyan Parliament resumed its official session Monday

A spokesman for the House of Representatives of Libya, Abdullah Blihaq, announced that the parliament approved on Monday, an amendment to the constitutional declaration (interim constitution since 2011), which divides the country into three constituencies rather than one. Blihaq said in a statement published on the official website of the Parliament that “The parliament resumed its official session on Monday under the chairmanship of its president, Aguila Saleh, in the presence of First Deputy Fawzi Al-Nuwairi and the second deputy, Ahmed Huma.”

He added that “a constitutional amendment was approved, including the fortification of Article VI, of the referendum law on the permanent constitution of the country, under which Libya is divided into three constituencies.”

He went on saying that “Article VI also stipulates that the draft constitution should have 50 + 1 in each region (east, west, and south) separately, in addition to the need for the approval of two-thirds of the people nationwide to pass the constitution.”

Read: Elections in Libya: challenges to democratic choice, security and political stability

Blihaq explained that “more than 102 deputies have voted on the 10th constitutional amendment,” without mentioning the total number of deputies who attended the session and whether the amendment does not require the majority described (120 deputies).

On September 14, the House of Representatives in Tobruk announced its adoption of the referendum on the Constitution draft law.

However, the deputies of the eastern region of Libya challenged the legitimacy and quorum of the session. They further claimed that 30 deputies for the region of Tripoli are the people who met and approved the referendum on the Constitution law, which “contains articles that are against the constitutional declaration, and which requires a constitutional amendment first, and the approval of a two-thirds majority of the members, which actually was not the case.”

READ: Could Libya ever unite its army?

The referendum on the constitution law, which was adopted by the House of Representatives at the time, was highly criticised. Its article VI provided for the division of Libya into three constituencies during the referendum process, which is contrary to the ruling constitutional declaration that stipulates that the country has only one voter.

The House of Representatives announced at the same session, in which the law was approved, postponement of a constitutional amendment to include Article VI for a coming session to become an article constitutionally immune to appeal, which was completed by the Parliament during Monday’s meeting.

In July 2017, the Constitution Drafting Committee approved the draft permanent constitution of the country, after three years of waiting, in light of domestic and international demands that the draft constitution should be submitted quickly to the popular referendum.

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