In partnership with Karama, the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP) organized an urgent two-day consultation starting 6 June to address the recently-issued electoral law which will govern the selection process for the Constitutional Assembly in charge of writing Libya’s new constitution and has been deemed an obstacle to inclusive representation. The consultation brought together a range of national legal experts, women’s activists and youth campaigners, who, together with the LWPP, aligned priorities and developed plans to lobby for an alternative electoral law.
Over the two-day consultation, the LWPP and civil society coalition, coordinated a national campaign and lobby for a more inclusive electoral law. The resulting proposal, finalized this week, emphasizes the introduction of zipper lists, which were successful in earning women nearly 17 percent representation in Libya’s national assembly in 2012.
As outlined by a previous press release issued on 30 April by the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace, the issuance of the electoral law of the Constitutional Assembly was considered a rejection of Libyan women’s great struggle and sacrifice during the February 17th Revolution, and of their current demand for equal and full participation alongside their brothers in building a new, inclusive and peaceful Libya.
According to the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) “The elections of 2012 serve as an exemplary example of the positive impact of Special Measures on women’s representation, not only for Libya but for the whole world. Therefore, [we] urge the decision-makers and others concerned to consider adopting Special Measures in the elections to the Constitution-Drafting Assembly.”
The coalition of Libyan groups convened in early June–which included youth, civil society, legal experts, women’s rights activists and other influential individuals–has identified critical areas of concern regarding the draft of the electoral law as a whole. The six major themes of concern are: 1) the lack of adequate mechanisms to ensure gender representation; 2) the exclusion of persons holding dual citizenship; 3) the risk of incentivizing political formation along tribal lines by restricting the electoral process to the individual vote system only; 4) the ambiguity surrounding the provision of the “independence” of candidates and their non-affiliation with political parties, and the lack of any mechanism to identify such affiliation; 5) the manner in which the simple majority vote system influences the results of women and all minorities; and 6) the risk of jeopardizing the democratic process underpinning constitutional drafting by allowing armed revolutionaries to participate in the Constitutional Assembly (there is a precedent already in the GNC and it has been highlighted in the speech of resignation of the head of GNC).
The Libyan Womenʼs Platform for Peace was formed leading womenʼs activists in October 2011 to serve as a networking movement of civil society groups throughout Libya. It convenes trainings, organizes advocacy activities, and serves as an information clearing house for womenʼs and youthʼs activists and their allies throughout Libya. It comprises members from all regions of Libya, as well as nationals and members of the diaspora.
For the full proposal for an alternative elective law issued by the coalition of Libyan groups see below. For further information on the LWPP, please visit Facebook.