Exclusive: Young Women of TWBI Seeking Answers on The Most Debated Articles Within Latest Constitution Draft

Exclusive: Young Women of TWBI Seeking Answers on The Most Debated Articles Within Latest Constitution Draft

Exclusive: Young Women of TWBI Seeking Answers on The Most Debated Articles Within Latest Constitution Draft 1280 853 Aisha Altubuly

The Libyan constitution final draft that was shared with the public a little while ago and should be submitted for referendum and has a received a large amount of attention from news outlets and people all over the country. reactions varied and raised many questions and worries; young women and men gave special attention to clauses (10) and (101) that were concerned with the Libyan Nationality and the conditions of candidacy for running for presidency.

As young Libyan women, we shared the same worries and decided to contact a member of the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) Mr. Albadri Mohammed Alsherif to discuss the common concerns over the most controversial clauses in the constitution draft.

Our first question to Mr. AlSherif was about article (185) and article (10) that determined the conditions for granting the Libyan nationality. We asked, What were the circumstances that set these articles? and do they apply to both genders? how will Libyan women married to foreigners give the nationality to their children? it is stated that all procedures of granting the nationality will be put on hold for 10 years, is there a plan set for after this period is over?

His answer was: “it should have been clarified that the constitution draft was built on a series of procedures and proposals collected of over three years, such as; the set committees within the CDA, the formal independence constitution, civil society and CDA suggestions and expertise. The committee that issued the last draft had aimed to reach an agreement over matters of granting the nationality and finding suitable format in consistent clauses. I should point out that the Libyan constitution draft gives Libyan women the same rights as Libyan men and supports their rights in articles such as (50) on women rights support and (7) that reaffirms female and male citizens are equal before the law without privilege or discrimination. These articles mean that the rights of Libyan fathers are the same as the rights of Libyan mothers and if the law denies granting the children of Libyan women married to foreigners the nationality, it should be appealed in court and is considered a violation of the constitution.”

He continues his answer: “Article (10) is of no relation to the rights of the children of Libyan women, it deals with duality of citizenship that subject was transmitted to legislators. Article (185) deals with extremely complicated matters one of which is the citizenship that was given to foreigners in the last few years before the revolution and under the former government. The authenticity of the family registration papers and national identity numbers that were issued recently in places of conflict for people who claim themselves as Libyan or are of Libyan descent without the proper process or investigation. As well as illegal immigration that’s largely present in the south.”

We asked Mr. Sherif, Why weren’t the clauses supporting the rights of Libyan mothers written in more detail or in articles that clearly state it legal by the constitution to avoid future complications? his reply was: “Constitution drafts are not written in details. Legislators will have to write and pass laws in regard to nationality and citizenship in more details and those laws will not discriminate and will not go against the constitution. Denying the rights of Libyan mothers is a violation of the constitution.”

Our next question was about article (101) over the representation of youth in the decision-making positions. As an age requirement, candidates for presidency must be over the age of 40 years old. Does that requirement apply in all fields within the new elected future governments? Why weren’t youth considered in this article? his reply: “The constitution draft contains many articles supporting young people for example, article (28) on “the young and youth” as I’ve stated before the constitutional draft does not go into details as much as it sets the way for them. as for the 40+ year old age requirement, it was set for the position of president alone and does not apply in any other position in the new government. the members of house of representatives for example must be over the age of 25 years old, as it was put in article (69). The HoR is the most important institution in the government as it determines laws and monitors the execution authority in the country. However, other positions in the government have no age requirement and young people are eligible so equality of opportunities can be achieved, as in article (16). Article (17) the filling of public occupations should be equal among all Libyans and considered on their merits and abilities.”

Lastly, we asked him about the meeting that will be held on May 7th, “Will the reaction of youth to the draft and their demands to make amendments be taken into consideration?”

and he told us: “this meeting is set to discuss draft proposal and other proposals and for the members to vote on the improved draft. We hope that we reach an agreement -God willing- and be able to produce a constitution that will make Libya an established modern state set with democracy and law that will be able to progress without violence. it is very important in my opinion that we move forward from having many governments to becoming a country that lives in peace and security that are needed for development.”

We would like to Thank Mr. Albadri Alsherif for answering our questions and clearing those points for us. This step to contact Mr. Albadri was made so we can pass our concerns to the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) and give them a chance to answer those questions that were popular on social media this last while. our goal is to open way for dialogue between us.

For our readers:  Please feel free to send us any comments or questions you had after reading this article and we will hopefully be able to pass them to the (CDA).