Libya's eastern-based parliament members reject constitution drafting assembly

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-20 10:06:15|Editor: Xiang Bo
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TRIPOLI, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Members of the Libyan eastern-based House of Representatives (Parliament) Monday rejected the constitution drafting assembly, calling for the formation of a committee of experts to amend the 1951 Libyan Constitution instead.

"The ruling of the Supreme Court is not valid on the constitution. Therefore, we, the deputies, decided not to recognize the constitution drafting assembly," said 18 parliament members representing eastern Libya in a statement, adding that they call on their fellow members to introduce a limited amendment to the independence constitution.

The members also refused to issue a referendum law on the draft constitution, until a committee of experts is formed to "verify the authenticity of the Libyan identity."

Last week, Nooh Abdallah, the head of the Libyan Constitution Drafting Assembly, called on the Parliament to issue the referendum law.

The Assembly last July voted for a draft constitution and presented it to the Parliament.

However, the Parliament said it refused to issue a referendum law pending a court ruling regarding the validity of the drafting procedures.

A month later, the appeals court ruled that the draft constitution should be suspended on grounds that the Assembly held the voting session on a holiday.

However, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the administrative judiciary is not competent to hear cases against the constitution assembly.

Most pro-federal legislators in eastern Libya demand a return to the political system of the 1950s, when the country was divided into three provinces, Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica.