Reporters Without Borders is today publishing its recommendations on Libya’s constitutional and legal framework, as the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) prepares to hold a third round of elections for 13 Constituent Assembly seats that could not be held in the first two rounds.
A boycott by part of the Amazigh and Tebu communities and armed attacks on several polling stations partially obstructed the first round on 20 February. By the end of the second round on 26 February, affected by more security problems, only 47 of the Constituent Assembly’s 60 seats had been filled.
Electing the 13 remaining seats is crucial for the Constituent Assembly, which will be in charge of writing Libya’s new constitution, establishing a new social contract between the state and the people, and thereby shaping the country’s future.
The constitution must be written in a transparent manner that adheres strictly to the legal process and, at the same time, is representative of Libya’s entire social and cultural fabric.
“A constitution establishes the bases of fundamental guarantees and should be long lasting, committing future generations,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It forms the core of the rule of law. Freedom of expression must be guaranteed, not only as a fundamental right but also as the pillar of other rights.
“The content of Libya’s new constitution, especially those parts concerning freedom of information, opinion, association and expression and all other fundamental rights, must be drafted in consultation with civil society and in accordance with Libya’s international obligations.”