Why Are the February Commission Proposals Important for Libya’s December Elections? – Al Marsad

What are the decisions of the February Commission referred to by UN Special Envoy Ján Kubiš as an option for an electoral basis in Libya? AlMarsad throws spotlight on the February Commission proposals and explains why they are significant.

(LIBYA, 27 March 2021) – The Head of the United Nations Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL), Ján Kubiš, referred to the decisions of the February Commission as an option for an electoral base in Libya for the December elections. AlMarsad summarises the key points of the decisions of the February Commission and their significance:

  • They are the decisions of a committee composed of leading Libyan legal experts and constitutional law jurists to resolve the constitutional crisis that happened in 2014 after the end of the mandate of the ruling General National Congress (GNC) at that time.
  • The General National Congress (GNC) approved the names of the members of the committee on 13 February 2014 and announced its acceptance of the decisions that were to be finalized by the February Commission.
  • The February Commission was named after the month of February when it was formed, and it coincided with the end of the mandate of the GNC. The committee’s name has nothing to do with the February 17th Revolution.
  • The February Commission worked on drafting its proposals and produced a mini-Constitution in less than a month that provides for the election of a Parliament and a President from the Libyan people. The February Commission handed over the finalised document to the General National Congress.
  • On 11 March 2014 the GNC approved the decisions of the February Commission, except the Article on electing the President by the people which has been, and still is, rejected by Islamist factions in the country. Based on these decisions, after the GNC modified it, Libyans elected the House of Representatives in June 2014 just before the Libya Dawn Operation coup and the invasion of the capital, Tripoli.
  • The February Commission Proposals clearly and precisely defined the powers of the Head of State, the Prime Minister and the Parliament, and separated the Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers, which would make any electoral process according to it, a smooth, foolproof, and clear-cut process.
  • Based on the decisions of the February Commission, the GNC approved the Seventh Constitutional Amendment, but the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, after their defeat in the Parliamentary elections, went to the Constitutional Court to challenge the afore-mentioned Seventh Amendment after they, themselves, approved it before the elections. It is worth noting that both Khaled al-Mishri, the incumbent Head of the consultative State Council, and Abdul-Raouf Al-Mannai, were the ones who filed the appeal before the court.
  • The February Commission and its original decisions that were handed over to the GNC were not subject to any appeal or judicial ruling and are still valid as an electoral basis, contrary to the allegations made by those who refuse to hold the Presidential elections.
  • The subsequent appeal has never been against the original version of the Proposals of the February Commission. Rather, it was against the copy in which the Article related to the election of the President, by direct vote of the people, was deliberately removed by the GNC.
  • With the constitutional path blocked, shortage of time, and the intention of some parties to deliberately defer the elections scheduled for 24 December 2021 under the pretext of a referendum that actually requires a law that could easily be vetoed by one of the three electoral constituencies. Such a roadblock has been specifically designed to torpedo the entire process. We therefore realize the importance UNSMIL’s Ján Kubiš’s indication that the original February Commission’s decisions can serve as the basis for holding elections in the country, an approach that has been supported by a large number of politicians and broad sectors of the Libyan people as the best and shortest way to elections that some persons, with private agendas try to disrupt with various pretexts.



Azza Maghur | Commentary on the Statement by the LPDF Legal Committee of 23 March

What Are the February Commission Decisions Referred by Kubiš as Basis for December Elections?