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HoR plans law to extend its term of office

The House of Representatives (HoR) plans to debate and vote on Monday on a bill to extend its life beyond 21 October. That is the date when its mandate expires under the amendment to Constitutional Declaration passed last year by the General National Congress when it agreed to the creation of the HoR.

A committee of 30 members was set up yesterday to look at the whole issue and will present a new amendment to the declaration for the Monday meeting, HoR member Essa Al-Araibi told the Libya Herald.

The move has been triggered by the concerns within the parliament that the UN-brokered Dialogue is moving too slowly and there will be no resolution to Libya’s problem before the 21 October deadline.

There had to be contingency plans in case the Dialogue has not reached a conclusion by that date, Benghazi HoR member Younis Omar Fanoush had said in an earlier separate statement on the issue.

He suggested that an amendment should also cover the possibility of fresh legislative as well as indirect presidential elections and the restructuring of the Higher National Elections Commission.

The draft agreement initialled by most of the delegates in the Dialogue process earlier this month proposes that with the appointment of a Government of National Accord, the HoR will continue in operation as Libyan’s parliament for possibly as much as two years. However, to enable this to happen, it too envisages an amendment to the Constitutional Declaration to be passed by the HoR.

Last month, when the General National Congress delegates abruptly quit the Skhirat talks, rejecting the draft proposal that was later signed by all the others at the negotiations, the leader of the GNC team reportedly told one western ambassador there that the GNC could wait until after 21 October. That way, he said, the international community would have to treat both legislatures as equals, being equally expired.

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