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article imageChair of Libyan CDA disqualified as he is an American

By Ken Hanly     Feb 17, 2016 in World
Bayda - Libya's troubles aren't not only with the formation of the Government of National Accord (GNA), which now faces a vote of confidence next Tuesday in the internationally recognized House of Representatives (HoR).
There are also issues with the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA). The CDA is charged with presenting a new Libyan constitution, which will form the basis for new elections and then an elected government to replace the Government of National Accord. The Al-Bayda Appeals Court, the administrative judiciary department, just delivered a verdict on Monday that will dismiss the chair of the CDA, Ali Al-Tarhouni.
The decision was stated as follows:First: It is urgent that the High National Election Commission (HNEC) decision (No. 29), which approves Ali Al-Tarhouni a member in the Constitution Drafting Assembly, is partially annulled.
Second: It is urgent that the Constitution Drafting Assembly's decision that approved Ali Al-Tarhouni as the head of the CDA is overruled.
The problem is that Al-Tarhouni is a dual Libyan and American citizen. Two members of the CDA, Daw Aun, and Hamdi Yacoub, filed a lawsuit to dismiss Al-Tarhouni because he has dual citizenship. According to Libyan law, a citizen who takes another citizenship invalidates his or her Libyan citizenship. As a result, Al-Tarhouni is not qualified to serve as head of the CDA.
At the end of January, 11 members of the CDA boycotted assembly sessions as a protest and said they would not recognize its outcomes. The members complained of attempts to impose regionalism as a basis for the constitution. Some members even insisted that there be three regions and three capitals within Libya, as there had been formerly. The members were scathing in their criticism of Al-Tarhouni. One of the boycotters, Daou Al-Mansouri, said Al-Tarhouni addressed international organizations without the knowledge or permission of the group. The group accused him of obstructing the work of the CDA. The two members who filed suit against Al-Tarhouni were among the boycotters.
The CDA results so far have been rejected by outsiders as well. There was a recent protest by some Libyan judiciary. The group complained that the CDA paid no attention to their suggestions for the constitution and the necessity for an independent judiciary. The members said: “We suspend our communication with the Constitution Drafting Assembly after they violated the independency of the Libyan judiciary in the forthcoming constitution, not to mention that they also ignored all the recommendations in favor of the greater good of the country.”
They also said they would make a constitutional appeal against the CDA results in the Supreme Constitutional Court since the CDA had ignored their demands.
Finally, a number of municipalities in the west of Libya, rejected the outcomes of the CDA and demanded that the CDA stress the unity of Libya and renounce division and separation. The municipalities issued a statement which said that they all support the members who boycotted sessions at the end of January. The CDA's work committee put out a draft that referred to Libya as the Libyan Republic with three capitals. Tripoli would be the political capital, Benghazi the economic capital, and Sabha in the south, the touristic and cultural capital. The group rejected the regionalism implicit in the draft. Libya has no new government yet and even if it does finally get one, there will be no new elections until a new constitution is agreed upon.
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More about Libyan Constitutional Drafting Assembly, Ali alTarhouni, Libyan Government of National Accord
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