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Libya High Council of State refuses constitutional amendments

February 25, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Libyan High Council of State Khalid al-Mishri speaks during a press conference held by NGOs and members of press in Tripoli, Libya on July 10, 2021 [Mücahit Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan High Council of State yesterday rejected the constitutional amendment and changing of the executive authority, which were approved by the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk.

In a statement published two weeks after the vote, the council said that despite its request for more time to present the constitutional amendment before the vote, “the House of Representatives did not respond to the request and voted on the constitutional amendment.”

“Thus, this amendment has been flawed by many procedural violations,” it continued.

The statement suggested “forming a joint committee from the High Council of State and the House of Representatives to prepare a constitutional rule” by 31 March, “on condition that electoral laws be agreed upon between the two councils, and that any amendment to the executive authority is postponed until the completion of the forming of the constitutional rule and electoral laws.”

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The High Council of State stressed that the proposal “aims to reach a real consensus, and to respond to the popular demands of holding elections urgently.”

On 10 February, the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk, Aguila Saleh Issa, announced a vote in favour of a proposal to amend the “constitutional declaration”, with a majority of the members present.

At the time, the House of Representatives voted on a decision to assign former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha to head the new Libyan government.

However current Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, said he would cede power only to an elected government and rejected the parliament’s moves to replace him.

The parliament has been seeking to take control of Libya’s political future after the collapse of an election that was planned for December, saying Dbeibah’s interim government is no longer valid.