Libyans at odds over post-Gaddafi charter

2013-01-07 12:33
Muammar Gaddafi (Picture: AFP)

Muammar Gaddafi (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libyans paid with their lives to end the 42-year dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi, but nearly 15 months after he was killed by rebels they remain at odds over a democratic constitution to replace it.

There is not even consensus on who should draw up the charter. Some want the 200-member General National Congress elected in July to appoint a panel to carry out the task. Others want fresh elections to a constitutional convention.

The GNC came to power with a mandate to appoint a government and oversee the drawing up of a new constitution, but the mechanics of that process remain the subject of intense debate.

GNC chief Mohammed Megaryef told civil society groups in December that the assembly would make its decision after broad consultations with the public, without setting a time frame for the process.

He recalled that the provisional constitution, as amended just days before the GNC's election in a bid to head off a federalist boycott, stipulates that the charter should be drawn up by an elected convention with equal representation for each of the three historic regions, Tripolitania, the Fezzan and Cyrenaica.

Abu Baker Bueira, a leading pro-federalism personality, said his camp wanted a qualified committee to be elected directly by the people in free and fair elections.

"We don't know how far we'll go but we are against the notion of selecting those people by appointment," he told AFP.

National dialogue

There are no members of the federalist movement in the congress because they boycotted the last election, but many Libyans support the idea of a decentralised system of government.

"Before deciding one way or the other, the assembly determined that there should be a national dialogue... and whatever the decision, we hope to do this transparently, taking into consideration the citizens' opinion" Megaryef said.

The International Crisis Group's senior analyst for Libya, Claudia Gazzini, said there was wisdom in that approach.

"It is better to take things calmly and consult people rather than rushing the process and alienating public opinion," she said.

But others say it would be folly for Libya to prolong the political and legal uncertainty while it is still struggling to rein in the former rebel militias that are the legacy of the armed uprising that ousted Gaddafi in October 2011.

"I think they are leaning towards an elected committee because they don't want to take responsibility for the results," an international electoral observer based in Tripoli told AFP.

"An elected committee is the least logical - it makes no economic or political sense - but it seems the most likely," added the observer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"By delaying the constitution, you prolong legislative uncertainty because laws are not based on the constitution. Instead you have interim laws and that affects everything, the economy, investment."

Key issues

Hassan Lamin, an independent GNC member from the city of Misrata, insisted that the assembly should bite the bullet and draw up a new constitution itself as quickly as possible.

"The national assembly is passing laws... and it is neglecting its priority. There is no excuse for this delay," said Lamin, adding that he was considering freezing his membership of the assembly in protest.

Whoever draws up the constitution will have to decide a host of key issues, including not only the system of government but also the country's official language or languages, which could include Berber as well as Arabic, and the status of women and ethnic minorities.

In a country where conservative Muslim values run deep, there is little doubt that Islam will be a major plank of any new charter, but its drafters will have to decide just how big.

"There is broad consensus that the new constitution should draw heavily from Islamic sharia law, but also consensus on the need to avoid extremism," said the Washington-based National Democratic Institute.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.