Press Release: RN Support for LWPP Call for Inclusive Constitutional Process

01/06/2013

Right to Nonviolence affirms its strong support for the “Call for an Inclusive Process of Constitutional Drafting”,  issued 30 May 2013 by the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP) and a coalition of civil society groups, in response to the recently issued draft electoral law for the formation of the Constitutional Assembly.

Calling on all Libyan women and men to join the push for a fairer electoral law, the initiative highlights seven critical areas of concern notably the lack of a sufficient mechanism to ensure gender representation, the exclusion of dual citizens, and the risk of jeopardizing the entire democratic process by allowing armed revolutionaries to participate in the Constitutional Assembly.

Passage of the law, according to the coalition, would be  “..a rejection of Libyan women’s great struggle and sacrifice during the February 17th Revolution, and of their current demand for equal and full participation alongside their brothers in building a new, inclusive and peaceful Libya.”

Co-founder of the LWPP Zahra’ Langhi, an active member of RN’s Constitutional Advocate network, noted the ‘exclusionist mindset’ of the draft law and its similarity in this regard to the first draft of the Libyan General National Congress (GNC) electoral law.

LWPP initiated and led a broad coalition in 2011 that successfully lobbied for a GNC electoral law that would ensure women’s participation in the elections by requiring alternating female and male candidates on ‘zippered’ party lists. Of the 33 women elected in the first post-Ghaddafi elections held in July 2012, 32 were elected through party lists and 1 as an individual  candidate. Representing 16.5% of the total of 200, women’s representation in the GNC in Libya is similar to that of the United States and France.

According to Langhi, “Democracy entitles that all voices are represented, those of the majority as well as those of the minority especially if we are addressing the process of drafting the constitution which is basically the establishment of the social contract.”

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