House of Representatives (Libya)
|House of Representatives |
|Founded||4 August 2014|
Since 5 August 2014
|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|
|25 June 2014|
Dar al-Salam Hotel|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
It took power on 4 August 2014, following an election on 25 June 2014, replacing the General National Congress. Turnout at the election was 18%, down from 60% in the first post-Gaddafi election of July 2012. Because of security concerns no voting took place in some locations.
Supreme Constitutional Court Ruling on the HoR
On November 7, 2014 Libya's Supreme Constitutional Court dismissed the House of Representatives (HoR) election as illegal, invalidating the entire legislative and elective process leading to the establishment of the HoR. This meant the HoR was effectively dissolved.
However, the HoR and the international community ignored the judicial authority of the Supreme Court for perceived political progress at the time.
Due to controversy about constitutional amendments the HoR refused to take office from General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, which was controlled by powerful militias from the western coastal city of Misrata. Instead, they established their parliament in Tobruk. Instead of accepting the ruling of the highest court of the country, the HoR assembly, back by major international powers, decided to remain in Tobruk to act as the country’s functioning government.
The GNC took exception to this and in late 2014, a rival parliament in Tripoli was proclaimed called the New General National Congress. 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.
International Community's Recognition of the HoR
The international community’s recognition of the HoR and its Tobruk government as Libya’s legitimate ruling entity ignored the law of a sovereign nation and helped entrench Libya’s political sectarianism.
By nullifying the road map that included the elections, Libya’s Supreme Court eliminated the domestic legal basis for the existence of the House of Representatives, thus placing the US and Europeans international community in a conundrum: either they reject the verdict as being issued under pressure from the militias now controlling Tripoli while also restating their recognition of the House of Representatives along with Al-Thinni’s government; or they accept the verdict but this eliminated the parliament sitting in Tobruk without clearly reinstating the GNC sitting in Tripoli.
In a joint statement, the United States, Canada, and six European Union member states said that they are “studying carefully the decision of the Supreme Court, its context and consequences” and emphasized the need to support the UN mediation in order to reach a political compromise.
The UN Security Council announced its acceptance of the HoR through the voice of Bernardino Leon, who headed up the UN Support Mission in Libya at the time. Leon’s announcement of the UNSC position helped alienate the GNC in Tripoli, whose members felt that the Supreme Court’s decision meant that they were still Libya’s actual government.
While some argue that Libya's Supreme Constitutional Court (LSC) was pressured by militias, this highest court of the country was one of the limited institutions that remained independent since the revolution. The UNSC’s move to ignore the LSC’s ruling contradicted provisions adopted by the UN’s own Human Rights Office in 1985 concerning “Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.” The UNSC’s backing of the HoR interfered with the judicial process of a sovereign nation, which has the right to conduct its own legal procedures.
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. Nonetheless, the proposal did spark a revised proposal put together by Fayez al-Sarraj and others, which was subsequently supported by the United Nations. 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". Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council and a seventeen-member interim Government of National Accord would be formed, with a view to holding new elections within two years. The House of Representatives would continue to exist as a legislature and an advisory body, to be known as the High Council of State, will be formed with members nominated by the New General National Congress. On 31 December 2015, Chairman of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa declared his support for the Libyan Political Agreement.
According to Decree 56 of 2014, issued by the GNC on the 22nd of July 2014, the GNC would handover power to the HoR on Monday the 4th of August 2014. For unknown reasons the location and the exact time of the handover ceremony were not revealed. Decree 56/2014 stated that the oldest member of the HoR will chair the opening session.
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 from a Greek shipping company, the Elyros of ANEK Lines, for members to live and meet in. Later the House relocated to the Dar al-Salam Hotel in Tobruk.
- High Council of State (Libya)
- Libyan Civil War (2014–present)
- Libyan Crisis (2011–present)
- Libyan Council of Deputies election, 2014
- "Libya's parliament allies with renegade general, struggling to assert authority". Ahram Online. AFP. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Libya holds the third election in post-revolutionary era". Libyan High National Elections Commission. 9 July 2014. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016.
- Lamloum, Imed. "Libya power handover agreed as airport battle rages on". Agence France-Presse (AFP). Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Libya's new parliament meets in Tobruk". Libya Herald. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- "Libyans mourn rights activist amid turmoil". Al Jazeera English. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Braving Areas of Violence, Voters Try to Reshape Libya". New York Times. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Jawad, Rana (26 June 2014). "Libyan elections: Low turnout marks bid to end political crisis". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Ageela Issa elected as president of House of Representatives". Libya Herald. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- "Jurist elected Libya parliament speaker". Middle East Online. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "New Parliament Elects East Libya Jurist As Speaker". Haberler. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Parliament elects deputy presidents". Libya Herald. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- "Libyan court rules elected parliament illegal". Al Jazeera English. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- "Libya: the four things that matter more than recognition". ECFR. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
- "Libya's parliament extends mandate". BBC News. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "Rival Libyan lawmakers sign proposal for peace deal". Yahoo. Reuters. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "Situation in Libya". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
- Associated Press (19 October 2015). "Libyan officials reject UN-proposed unity deal with rival government". The Guardian. Benghazi.
- UN Security Council Resolution 2259 of 23 December 2015
- 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.
- Zaptia, Sami (1 January 2016). "Ageela Salah now supports UN-brokered Skhirat agreement: Kobler". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. (subscription required (. ))
- "Libyan deal on course, but who is on board?". Al Arabiya. 25 December 2015.
- "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.
- Temehu.com. "HoR | House of Representatives of Libya (مجلس النواب الليبي):". www.temehu.com. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
- Stephen, Chris (2014-09-09). "Libyan parliament takes refuge in Greek car ferry". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
- "Libya: Cruise ship hired as 'floating hotel for MPs'". BBC News. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Goldhammer, Zach (13 September 2014). "On the Greek Ferry Housing Libya's Government". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Laessing, Ulf (2 October 2014). "Insight - Libya's runaway parliament seeks refuge in Tobruk bubble". Reuters UK. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
- "Libya's government holed up in a 1970s hotel". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2015.