Eye on the General National Congress
The Thirty-Third Report
April 16 – April 30, 2014
- Interim prime ministerial candidates;
- Discussion of the draft general budget bill for year 2014.
The General National Congress (GNC) held three sessions during the monitoring period. Candidates running for prime minister delivered presentations during the first session, which included discussion of their platforms and backgrounds. The GNC had its first round of votes for a new prime minister, as seven candidates delivered presentations. Additionally, the GNC approved the interim government proposal to raise Judicial Council staff’s salaries. It also passed amendments to Law No. 10/2014 on elections to the House of Representatives. Elections are scheduled for the upcoming transitional phase.
On April 20, 2014, the GNC held its 184th session with the following agenda:
- Interim prime ministerial candidates’ presentations;
- Other matters.
Second Deputy to the GNC President Saleh al-Makhzoom said that political blocs nominated prime ministerial candidates, and submitted applications to the GNC Presidency. He noted that each candidate submitted a 20-signatory endorsement. Al-Makhzoom added that this session gave candidates the opportunity to present their platforms and biographies before GNC members, and explain their visions, proposals, and ideas. He concluded that the GNC will elect a new interim prime minister within one week. GNC Member Mohamed Ali Abdullah noted that the session ended after seven candidate presentations.
In a comment on candidates’ presentations, GNC National Initiative Member Mohamed al-Manfi noted that the voting process is facing obstacles. Some blocs are unsatisfied with the candidates, considering them an unconvincing match for the position, while others believe that there are priorities that the GNC must discuss prior to the vote, including changes to the body of the GNC Presidency. Manfi added that bloc coordinators will hold a session on April 21, 2014 to decide on a mechanism for the prime ministerial election, which will take a place on April 22.
In a phone interview with Libya al-Ahrar TV channel, GNC member Fatehallah al-Sariri pointed out that while some candidates outlined and touched upon main points, others presented overloaded proposals that are unlikely to be realized during the interim prime minister’s term. Sariri explained that the presentations were intended to provide candidates from all over Libya with the opportunity to introduce themselves to GNC members before they proceed with the vote. He stressed that members must follow candidate’s presentations closely in order to elect the candidate who meets the qualities of a prime minister, demonstrating authority and diplomacy. He added that most candidates presented solutions to the most critical issues pertaining to security, economy, administrative decentralization and local development.
Finally, it should be noted that the GNC approved seven of the 17 candidates for the position. Whoever is selected will be Abdullah al-Thinni’s successor.
On April 24, 2014, the GNC held its 185th session with the following agenda:
- Discussion of the High National Elections Commission’s remarks on Law No. 10/2014, concerning the House of Representatives elections;
- Follow-up on the discussion of the draft general budget bill of year 2014.
GNC Member and Official Spokesman Omar Humaidan pointed out that the GNC postponed discussions of both above-mentioned items due to a lack of the required 120 member quorum. In the session debrief, Humaidan stated that the GNC approved the interim government’s proposal to raise the Judicial Council staff’s wages. He emphasized that the GNC carries out a non-discriminatory employment policy. However, Humaidan added that this motion is aimed at recognizing the essential role of judicial bodies, explaining that these institutions are distinct and that judicial staff could easily be persuaded into corruption or forced by extortion, and that they must therefore be properly awarded to eliminate those risks. Additionally, Humaidan clarified that the GNC has a legislative policy intended to raise salaries for all employees and citizens.
Omar Humaidan noted that Abdullah al-Thinni’s cabinet will maintain its status in the government if the GNC fails to achieve quorum by Tuesday April 29, 2014.
On April 29, 2014, the GNC held its 186th session with the following agenda:
- Vote on amendments to Law No. 10 concerning the House of Representatives elections in the transitional phase;
- Electing a new interim prime minister from a list of seven candidates;
- Vote on a memorandum submitted by 21 members of the GNC concerning the Presidency;
- Discussion of the High National Elections Commission’s statement regarding the poor representation of the Amazigh in the Committee of Sixty;
- Follow-up on the discussion of the draft general budget of year 2014.
In the session debrief, Omar Humaidan pointed out the GNC passed amendments to Section I of Law No. 10/2014 for the House of Representatives elections during the transitional phase. Amendments replaced “electoral center” with “constituency,” wherever mentioned in the Law. Humaidan added that the GNC amended Article 15 of the Law which requires that a report be submitted within 15 days from the date of the ballot, rather than on the date of the announcement of final results. The GNC also amended Article 21, allowing candidates to draw lots in case of equal votes.
In regard to Section II, Humaidan noted that the GNC conducted its first round of votes to choose an interim prime minister from seven candidates, who had submitted their platforms a few days earlier. Candidates received votes as follows:
Number of votes
|Ahmed Omar Maiteeq||67|
|Omar Sulaiman al-Sahli||34|
|Mohamed Abdullah Buker||32|
|Bashir Musa Mohamed al-Faqehi||5|
|Gomaa Abdulsalam Fahima||4|
|Sanusi Mohamed Safat||3|
|Ali Idris al-Triki||1|