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Libyan Constitutional Drafting Assembly holds meetings in Oman

The two Tebu and two Tuareg members walked out of the CDA last August after complaining that the Committee refused to take into account rights of Libyan minorities. However, they attended the most recent meeting. The Special Representative of the Secretary General, Martin Kobler, also attended the meeting. No one attended from Oman as officials did not want to interfere in Libyan affairs. Kobler tweeted:“Listening to Tebu and Twareg @CDALibya. Protection of rights is absolute must. Constitution must satisfy all.” Kobler said he was also encouraged by the spirit of compromise among those at the meeting. Kobler said that the mission of the UN in Libya is not to intervene in the political issues but to support by providing technical advice.

Kobler thought the meeting important enough to issue a short press release on the UNSMIL site. The meeting was designed to discuss constitutional issues that had yet to be solved. As usual any negative aspects of what has been happening with the CDA are completely ignored. For example, the head of the CDA, Ali Al-Tourani, who has dual American and Libyan citizenship, was disqualified from his position after some members of the CDA brought a suit against him resulting in a court decision that he did not qualify for the position.

There are also 11 members, mostly from western areas of Libya, who were not present at meetings. They are boycotting the meetings because they object to the manner in which jobs and positions are being divided on the basis of a third each to the three traditional divisions,Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. Tripolitania in the west contains two-thirds of Libya’s population and the boycotters think this should be reflected in the division of jobs. The boycotting members have other objections as well. Members of the judiciary have protested against the draft constitution, complaining that the group refused to enshrine independence of the judiciary in the draft as they recommended.

Articles to be included in the draft constitution must be approved by a vote of two-thirds plus one or 41 votes. There are only 33 members in the sessions in Oman according to the Libya Herald. There are not enough to pass any articles. There are only 41 members altogether taking part in CDA proceedings. In other words they need all to be present and all vote in favor of any article for it to be adopted. A number of members of the CDA refused to travel to Oman. They said the discussions could have taken place in Libya just as easily. None of this is mentioned in Kobler’s press release. The Gulf News claims that 56 of 60 members of the CDA attended the first meeting on Saturday. This conflicts with other sources and makes no sense when there are 11 boycotters plus a number of members who objected to meeting in Oman and refused to go.

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