House of Representatives (Libya)

House of Representatives

مجلس النواب

Majlis al-Nuwaab
Libyan House of Representatives logo.png
History
Founded4 August 2014 (2014-08-04)
Leadership
Speaker
Aguila Saleh Issa[1], Independent
since 5 August 2014
Interim Speaker
al-Sadiq al-Kehili[2]
since 5 May 2019
Vice-Chairs
Imhemed Shaib
Ahmed Huma
since 5 August 2014
Rapporteur
Musaab al-Abed[2]
since 5 May 2019
spokesperson
Hamouda Sayala[2]
since 5 May 2019
Seats200
Elections
Parallel voting; 40 seats through first-past-the-post in single-member constituencies, 80 seats through single non-transferable vote in 29 multi-member constituencies, and 80 seats through proportional representation
Last election
25 June 2014
Meeting place
Dar al-Salam Hotel
Tobruk, Libya;[3]
Rixos al-Nasr Hotel
Tripoli, Libya[4]
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The House of Representatives (HoR) (Arabic: مجلس النواب‎, romanizedMajlis al-Nuwaab, lit. 'Council of Deputies', is a legislature of Libya. As of 2019, during the Libyan Civil War, it is generally associated with the "Tobruk government" based in the east of the country. Several HoR sessions were held in Tripoli in May 2019, electing an Interim Speaker for 45 days.[4][2]

Formation

The House of Representatives officially became a legislative body on 4 August 2014, following an election on 25 June 2014, replacing the General National Congress.[5][6] Turnout at the election was 18%,[7] down from 60% in the first post-Gaddafi election of July 2012.[8] Because of security concerns no voting took place in some locations.[9]

As of 2014, the chairman was Aguila Saleh Issa.[10][1][11] As of 2014, the deputy presidents of the Council of Deputies were Imhemed Shaib and Ahmed Huma.[12] As of 2019, the HoR's associated executive authority is the Second Al-Thani Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, based in Bayda, Libya[13].

The Tripoli-based Libyan Supreme Constitutional Court ruled on 6 November 2014 that the June elections were unconstitutional and that the House of Representatives should be dissolved. The House of Representatives rejected the ruling, saying that the ruling was made "at gunpoint", with the court being controlled by armed militias.[14]

In late 2014, a rival parliament in Tripoli was restored, the GNC.[15][16] The House of Representatives did not recognize the new GNC, and voted on 6 October 2015, 112 out of 131, "to extend its term beyond 20 October", given the inability to hold elections.[15]

Government of National Accord

In October 2015, the UN envoy for Libya, Bernardino León, announced a proposal for the House of Representatives to share power with the rival Islamist-led new GNC government, under a compromise prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj. However, the terms of the final proposal were not acceptable to either side, and both rejected it.[17] Nonetheless, the proposal did spark a revised proposal put together by Fayez al-Sarraj and others, which was subsequently supported by the United Nations.[18] On 17 December 2015 members of the House of Representatives and the new General National Congress signed this revised political agreement, generally known as the "Libyan Political Agreement" or the "Skhirat Agreement".[19][20] Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council and a seventeen-member interim Government of National Accord would have been formed, with a view to holding new elections within two years.[19] The House of Representatives would have continued to exist as a legislature and an advisory body, to be known as the High Council of State, would have been formed with members nominated by the New General National Congress.[21] On 31 December 2015, Chairman of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa declared his support for the Libyan Political Agreement.[20]

As of April 2016, the Libyan National Elections Commission was still considering its recommendations on legislation to implement the next election of the House of Representatives.[22]

A new round of talks that started in October 2017 in Tunis broke down a month later without a deal. On 17 December 2017, general Khalifa Haftar declared the "so-called" Skhirat agreement void.[23]

Shift to Tobruk

In late 2014, following the occupation of Tripoli by armed Islamist groups during the Second Libyan Civil War, the House of Representatives relocated to Tobruk in the far east of the country. Since there was not enough housing for them, they initially hired a car ferry[24] from a Greek shipping company, the Elyros of ANEK Lines, for members to live and meet in.[25][26] Later the HoR relocated to the Dar al-Salam Hotel in Tobruk.[27][28]

2019 Tripoli meetings

Early in April 2019, during the 2019 Western Libya offensive, 31 members of the House of Representatives made a public statement supporting the attack on Tripoli and 49 members made a public statement opposing the attack.[29] On 2 May, 51 members of the HoR held a session at the Rixos al-Nasr Hotel. They stated that their session was not intended to split up the HoR nor Libya and called other members of the HoR to attend another Tripoli session planned for 5 May. They opposed the use of military force, called for a political solution to the offensive, and called for the Presidential Council, in its role as the head of the Libyan armed forces, to appoint a new head of the army[4] to replace Khalifa Haftar, who had been appointed by the HoR on 2 March 2015.[30]

On 5 May, a Tripoli session of 47 members of the House of Representatives elected al-Sadiq al-Kehili as Interim Speaker, Musaab al-Abed as a rapporteur and Hamouda Sayala as a spokesperson, for a period of 45 days, with 27 votes in favour.[31][2] In the 2014 Libyan parliamentary election, al-Kehili was elected with 1596 votes in electorate 56, Tajura; Musaab al-Abed (Musab Abulgasim) was elected with 2566 votes in electorate 59, ; and Sayala (Siyala) was elected with 6023 votes in electorate 58, Tripoli Central.[32] On 8 May, another session was held in Tripoli, creating an Internal Code Review committee, to review HoR decisions made since 2014, under Article 16 of the Skhirat Agreement; an International Communication committee; a Secretarial Office; and a Crisis committee, to "follow" the work of the emergency committee created by the Presidential Council in relation to the 2019 Western Libya offensive.[33] Sayala stated in a televised interview that solving the crisis in Libya would require a political agreement in which the HoR is "restored" as the highest legislative authority in Libya.[31]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Jurist elected Libya parliament speaker". Middle East Online. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Assad, Abdulkader (5 May 2019). "Libya's House of Representatives elects Interim Speaker in Tripoli". The Libya Observer. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Libya's parliament allies with renegade general, struggling to assert authority". Ahram Online. AFP. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Zaptia, Sami (2 May 2019). "Anti Tripoli war HoR members hold Tripoli session". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. ^ Lamloum, Imed. "Libya power handover agreed as airport battle rages on". Agence France-Presse (AFP). Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Libya's new parliament meets in Tobruk". Libya Herald. 4 August 2014. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Libyans mourn rights activist amid turmoil". Al Jazeera English. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Braving Areas of Violence, Voters Try to Reshape Libya". New York Times. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  9. ^ Jawad, Rana (26 June 2014). "Libyan elections: Low turnout marks bid to end political crisis". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Ageela Issa elected as president of House of Representatives". Libya Herald. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  11. ^ "New Parliament Elects East Libya Jurist As Speaker". Haberler. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Parliament elects deputy presidents". Libya Herald. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Chaos in Libya: A Background Who is Who in Libya". February 2017.
  14. ^ "Libyan court rules elected parliament illegal". Al Jazeera English. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Libya's parliament extends mandate". BBC News. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Rival Libyan lawmakers sign proposal for peace deal". Yahoo. Reuters. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  17. ^ Associated Press (19 October 2015). "Libyan officials reject UN-proposed unity deal with rival government". The Guardian. Benghazi.
  18. ^ UN Security Council Resolution 2259 of 23 December 2015
  19. ^ a b Kingsley, Patrick (17 December 2015). "Libyan politicians sign UN peace deal to unify rival governments". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 December 2015.
  20. ^ a b Zaptia, Sami (1 January 2016). "Ageela Salah now supports UN-brokered Skhirat agreement: Kobler". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016.
  21. ^ "Libyan deal on course, but who is on board?". Al Arabiya. 25 December 2015.
  22. ^ "The Audit Committee for reviewing and developing electoral legislations continue to hold meetings". Libyan High National Elections Commission. 15 April 2016. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Q&A: What's happening in Libya?". Al Jazeera. 20 December 2017.
  24. ^ Stephen, Chris (9 September 2014). "Libyan parliament takes refuge in Greek car ferry". the Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Libya: Cruise ship hired as 'floating hotel for MPs'". BBC News. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  26. ^ Goldhammer, Zach (13 September 2014). "On the Greek Ferry Housing Libya's Government". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  27. ^ Laessing, Ulf (2 October 2014). "Insight - Libya's runaway parliament seeks refuge in Tobruk bubble". Reuters UK. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  28. ^ "Libya's government holed up in a 1970s hotel". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  29. ^ Assad, Abdulkader (29 April 2019). "Parliament members who oppose Haftar's war on Tripoli to hold session Thursday". The Libya Observer. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  30. ^ al-Warfalli, Ayman (2 March 2015). "Libya's Haftar appointed army chief for recognized government". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  31. ^ a b "Tripoli trio in control of parallel parliament". The Libyan Address Journal. 8 May 2019. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  32. ^ Paton, Callum; Seraj, Essul (22 July 2014). "ELECTIONS 2014: Final results for House of Representative elections announced". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  33. ^ Assad, Abdulkader (8 May 2019). "Libya's HoR continues holding sessions in Tripoli". The Libya Observer. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

External links