24 January 2012
Officials from Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) have approached the legal experts who drafted the alternative electoral law proposed by the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP), and requested their assistance in preparing revisions to the law currently slated for release on 28 January 2012.
The draft law was drafted by a group of elite Libyan legal experts including Dr. Kuni Abouda, Salah El-Merghani, Hadi Buhamra, and Ali Dou.
The law was originally set to be ratified last week, but came under severe criticism from the LWPP and other civil society groups, and was delayed one week to allow more time for modification and negotiations.
“Thanks to the pressure from a range of civil society groups, we are finally able to engage with the NTC to offer the necessary amendments to this flawed draft law,” said Saleh El-Merghani, the head of the legal committee tasked drafting the modified bill.
The LWPP’s critique of the NTC’s electoral law draft centered on four issues 1) the lack of adequate provisions for women’s political participation, 2) possible interpretations that would exclude dual citizens from public life, 3) the risk of incentivizing political party formation along tribal lines, and 4) inadequate mechanisms to fight corruption in the electoral process.
The electoral law is significant because it will govern the procedures for selection of members of the Public National Conference (PNC) in June 2012. The PNC, in turn, will be tasked with drawing up a new constitution within 60 days. This constitution will then be put to a national referendum and, if passed, parliamentary elections for a permanent government will take place six months afterwards.