Tuesday, 28/1/2020 | 10:26 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Court Ruling Divides Libya

Libya’s parliament and high court disagree as to whether the country has an elected government.

The Supreme Court last week ruled that the country’s democratically elected House of Representatives was unconstitutional.

But the new parliament claims that the court’s decision was taken “under the threat of arms”.

Supreme Court chief Kamal al-Dahan said the November 6th verdict – in response to a petition by an Islamist lawmaker – could not be appealed and effectively nullified all decisions that resulted from the June 25th legislative election.

But Speaker of Parliament Agila Saleh Gwaider in Tobruk said that the court was not independent, that its decisions had no value and that the legislature did not accept the ruling.

“The crisis in Libya can only be solved through dialogue. We are ready for dialogue and reconciliation with the condition of laying down arms as announced from the beginning,” Gwaider said.

The government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani joined parliament in refusing to recognise the ruling by the Tripoli-based court.

According to lawyer Azza Kamel Maghur, “The ruling of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court does not affect the legitimacy of the House of Representatives.”

For former National Transitional Council member Abdelhafed Ghoga, however, the ruling is “a declaration of the beginning of the division of Libya”.

The United Nations Mission in Libya recognised the same threat. It called for Libyans to avoid any actions that could escalate polarisation.

Citizens and lawmakers voiced particular concerns about the legitimacy of the court ruling.

Libyan legislator Ibtisam Rbai told Magharebia that the court ruling did not make sense because it was made under duress.

Mansour Raoui, a 35-year-old employee from Benghazi, agreed, saying, “We reject this unjust decision, which was issued at gunpoint.”

The court, he said, “must recognise the parliament chosen by the Libyans”

Source : Magharebia