2014 Libyan parliamentary election

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Libyan parliamentary election, 2014

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All 200 seats up for election
101 seats needed for a majority

Prime Minister before election

Abdullah al-Thani
Independent

Prime Minister

Abdullah al-Thani
Independent

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Parliamentary elections were held in Libya on 25 June 2014 for the House of Representatives.[1] Whilst all candidates ran as independents, the elections saw nationalist and liberal factions win the majority of seats, with Islamist groups being reduced to only around 30 seats.[2] Election turnout was very low at 18%.[3]

After the election was complete, two constitutional claims were brought before the Libyan Supreme Court (LSC). On November 7, 2014 the LSC ruled the amendment to Article 11 of paragraph 30 of the Constitutional Declaration invalid, which set out the road map for Libya's transition and the House elections. This in extension invalidated the entire legislative and elective process leading to the establishment of the House including the election. Therefore, this meant the House was effectively dissolved.[4]

Due to controversy about constitutional amendments the House 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.

The international community through the United Nations Special Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) announced recognition of the House and thus ignored the Supreme Court ruling. It was seen as unrealistic at the time to dissolve the House.

Background[edit]

The General National Congress was elected in July 2012, with the responsibility of forming a constituent assembly to write the constitution. However, the National Transitional Council decided that Libyans would instead directly elect the constituent assembly.[5] The General National Congress came to agreement on 10 April 2013 that constituent assembly members would be elected;[6] the election for most of the constituent assembly took place on 20 February 2014.[7]

On 25 May 2014, the General National Congress set 25 June 2014 as the date for elections to the House of Representatives.[8] Article 16 of the Electoral Law voted by the GNC on 30 March 2014 with 124 votesin favour out of 133, allocated 30 seats for women, and 200 seats overall, with individuals able to run as members of political parties, but without party lists, and declared Libyans with a second nationality to be eligible.[9]

Electoral system[edit]

The 200 seats were elected in 13 constituencies divided into 75 sub-constituencies.[10] In an attempt to reduce tensions, all candidates contested the election as individuals, instead of running on party lists.[11]

Conduct[edit]

Turnout[edit]

I didn't bother to register this time around, and that should tell you everything. My friends were killed in the revolution, we paid in blood for this democracy, but what was the result of the [previous] election? Candidates make big promises, but when they get the power, nothing.[12]

—Mohammed Abu Baker, 21-year-old student

Turnout was a mere 18%,[11][13] down from 60% in the first post-Gaddafi election of July 2012,[14] with only 630,000 people voting.[11] Barely a third of Libya's 3.4 million eligible voters had registered for the country's Constitutional Assembly election in February.[15] "Declining enthusiasm reflects growing disgust with the authorities' failure to govern," said The Economist.[15]

No voting took place in Derna, which had been the scene of a campaign of bombings and assassinations from radical Islamist groups based there. Some polling stations were also closed in Kufra and Sabha for security reasons.[11]

Violence[edit]

There were several instances of violence on the day of the election, with at least five people dying in clashes between government forces and militants in Benghazi.[11] According to security officials the deaths happened when Islamist insurgents opened fire on a local security headquarters, with the violence resulting in at least another 30 people being wounded.[11]

In a separate incident Human Rights activist Salwa Bughaighis was shot dead at her Benghazi home after having returned home from voting. Her attackers were reportedly hooded and were wearing military uniforms. Bughaighis, a native of Benghazi, was a lawyer by profession and had three children. She had played an active role in the overthrow of Gaddafi and had served as a member of Libya's interim National Transitional Council.[11]

Results[edit]

The results were announced on 22 July 2014.[16] All 1,714 candidates stood as independents as party lists were forbidden under the electoral system. Of the 200 seats up for election, 188 were announced on 22 July, with the announcement for the other 12 being delayed due to boycott or insecurity in some electoral districts.[17] Most of the seats were taken by secular factions, with Islamists only winning around 30 seats. Some analysts[who?] immediately feared the results could reinvigorate fighting between secular and Islamist forces.[2]

On 12 August 2014, the parliament voted in favor of the Libyan head of state being directly elected, as opposed to being appointed by the House of Representatives. Of the Representatives present 141 voted in favour, with 2 opposing and 1 abstaining.[18]

After the Islamist coup of 23 August 2014, the parliament moved to the Operation Dignity stronghold of Tobruk.[19]

Key results include the following.[17]

Constituency (* indicates women's list) Votes
1. Tobruk Saleh al-Tayeh 3,008
1. Tobruk Nureddin Abdulhamid 1,879
1. Tobruk Salhin Saad 1,611
1. Tobruk Muftah al-Sharri 1,389
2. al-Qubbah (Guba) Agila Gwaider (Saleh Issa) 913
2. al-Qubbah Talal al-Maihub 623
2. *al-Qubbah Muna al-Ghaithi 2,559
8. Benghazi Younis Fanoush 4,838
8. Benghazi Ibrahim Ameish 4,599
8. Benghazi Ali Abuzakuk 3,932
8. Benghazi Tariq al-Jarush 2,863
8. Benghazi Abubakr Bahira 2,853
8. Benghazi Adel al-Tira 2,080
8. Benghazi Ziyad Daghim 2,007
8. Benghazi Muftah Akuidir 1,792
8. Benghazi Ahmed al-Wahdi 1,512
8. Benghazi Aisa al-Araibi 1,417
8. Benghazi Jalal al-Shweidi 1,307
8. Benghazi Ramadan Shambesh 1,220
8. Benghazi Essam al-Jihani 1,073
8. Benghazi Ibrahim al-Dresi 1,072
8. Benghazi Saad al-Jazwi 1,057
8. Benghazi Badr Musa 977
8. *Benghazi Amal Bayu 14,086
8. *Benghazi Aisha al-Tablaghi 8,003
8. *Benghazi Siham Sirghua 5,883
8. *Benghazi Asmahan Belaoun 5,452
20 Sirte Zaid Abubakr 1,093
20 Sirte Hassan Zarga 875
20 Sirte Abubakr Mohammed 723
20 *Sirte Azziza Busetta 2,300
22. Sabha Ibrahim Ali 1,319
22. Sabha Misbah Awhida 1,189
22. Sabha Ahmed Arhuma 912
22. Sabha Mohamed Arifa 898
22. Sabha Mohamed Ajdeed 782
22. Sabha Mohamed al-Hadiri 713
22. Sabha Yousef Saidi 713
22. *Sabha Fatima Abu Saada 2,642
22. *Sabha Ahlam Khalifa 2,326
40. Zintan Abdussalam Nassiyah 486
40. Zintan Omar Abu Kadr 374
47. Misrata Suleiman al-Fagieh 11,166
47. Misrata Fathi Bashagha 6,589
47. Misrata Mohamed Raied 2,690
47. Misrata Abdurrahman Sewehli 2,129
47. Misrata Mohamed Durrat 2,085
47. Misrata Mohamed Hneish 1,753
47. Misrata Kamal al-Jamel 1,646
47. *Misrata Hanan Shalouf 15,882
49. Zliten Mohamed Ben Khalil 1,277
49. Zliten Abdulghani Alftaisi 1,160
49. Zliten Ezzedden Gwereb 1,105
49. Zliten Aamar al-Ablag 1,047
49. *Zliten Naima Dalef 4,420
56. Tajura al-Sadiq al-Kahaili 1,596
56. Tajura Abulkair Bilkhair 1,351
56. Tajura Khaled al-Usta 1,172
58. Tripoli Central Hamuda Siyala 6,023
58. Tripoli Central Ali al-Tikbali 4,777
58. *Tripoli Central Fawzia Abu Ghalia 7,330
59. Hay al-Andalus Fayez al-Sarraj 3,771
59. Hay al-Andalus Ali Sbai 2,757
59. Hay al-Andalus Musab Abulgasim 2,566
59. *Hay al-Andalus Hana Abudeeb 3,503
59. *Hay al-Andalus Rabia Aburas 2,775
69. Zawiya Mohamed al-Hanish 2,271
69. Zawiya Ali Abu Zariba 2,169
69. Zawiya Amar Shaibaru 1,880
69. Zawiya Imhemed Shaib 1,350
69. Zawiya Salim Ganidi 1,286
69. Zawiya Abdulnabi Abdulmuali 922
69. Zawiya Abdallah Alafi 893
69. *Zawiya Aisha Shalabi 6,533

Aftermath[edit]

In November, the Supreme Court annulled the election after an appeal by a group of unnamed MPs on unclear grounds. However, the appealing MPs asserted unconstitutionality as the parliament does not sit in Tripoli or Benghazi and that it had overstepped its authority by calling for foreign military assistance against the national infighting with the militias.[20] Though it cannot be appealed, the Tobruk-based parliament rejected the ruling on the claim that it was delivered "under the threat of arms."[21] MP Abu Bakr Baira added that the ruling was "baseless" and "a step towards dividing the country," he further said that the Tobruk-based parliament would not comply with it.[21] It was met with celebratory gunfire in Tripoli, the seat of the rival and competing Islamist-dominated government.

In further developments, former leader Gaddafi's cousin, Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, said that once the "government's" forces regain control of major cities many of the exiled supporters of Gaddafi, who were in talks with parliament, would return to get "Libya back from this mess" and support a national reconciliation programme.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Date for new parliamentary elections 25 June". Libya Herald. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Libya publishes parliamentary election results". Xinhua. 22 July 2014. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  3. ^ Jazeera, Al. "Libyans mourn rights activist amid turmoil". www.aljazeera.com.
  4. ^ Maghur, Azza K. "A Legal Look into the Libyan Supreme Court Ruling". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  5. ^ "NTC takes responsibility for constitution from National Conference". Libya Herald. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  6. ^ "The Constitutional Commission will be elected and the political isolation law is constitutional, rules Congress". Libya Herald. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Election re-runs next Wednesday says Elabbar". Libya Herald. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  8. ^ "The Thirty-Fifth Report - May 15 - May 30, 2014". Eye on the General National Congress. 15 June 2014. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Congress votes to replace itself with new House of Representatives". Libya Herald. 30 March 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  10. ^ "LIBYA Majlis Al-Nuwaab (House of Representatives". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Jawad, Rana (26 June 2014). "Libyan elections: Low turnout marks bid to end political crisis". BBC. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Disillusionment mars Libya's national poll". The Guardian. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Libyans mourn rights activist amid turmoil". Al Jazeera English. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  14. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (7 July 2012). "Braving Areas of Violence, Voters Try to Reshape Libya". New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Libya's turmoil: Little to celebrate". The Economist. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  16. ^ "ELECTIONS 2014: Final results for House of Representative elections announced". Libya Herald. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  17. ^ a b 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.
  18. ^ Zaptia, Sami (12 August 2014). "Breaking news: HoR votes for direct popular election of Libya's president". Libya Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  19. ^ Ibrahim, Noora (13 August 2014). "Ansar increases presence at Benina check-point as criticism of Saiqa mounts". Libya Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Libya court 'invalidates' parliament". 6 November 2014 – via www.bbc.com.
  21. ^ a b Stout, David (7 November 2014). "Libyan Parliament 'Unconstitutional'". Time.