Checks, Balances, and the Draft Agreement on the Political Transition in Libya
Has a breakthrough happened in Morocco with the UN negotiations? Read Azza Maghur of the Atlantic Council to find out.
The United Nations Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) issued its first draft agreement on the political transition in Libya that was given to the parties to the political dialogue, taking place in different cities inside and outside of Libya since September 2014. The last round of political talks took place in the Moroccan city of Skhirat last week, where the rival political forces discussed, among other ideas, the formation of a National Unity Government—a cornerstone of the draft agreement.
Libya’s draft agreement does not include a deadline for the Prime Minister to issue laws drafted and approved by the House of Representatives, nor does it implement a mechanism to guarantee their issuance. To achieve the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of the government and to prevent one branch from usurping the authority of the other, the issuance of laws should not depend on the will and whims of a single entity—in this case the Prime Minister. The danger of this clause is that it gives veto power to the Prime Minister over the House of Representatives to the extent that he can block its work and render it obsolete.
In its current form, this clause (Article 7, Point 3 of the proposed draft) can effectively strip the House of Representatives of its primary authority and power. To correct this flaw and prevent this outcome, Article 34 Section 8 andArticle 19 from the proposals of the February 17 Commission together as previously intended. While acknowledging the importance of this draft accord and the excellent effort put into it by all the parties involved, Libya and its partners must remain cautious against any potential obstacles to its future implementation.
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