The National Transitional Council, NTC, is expected to transfer power to the new General National Congress that has been formed following the July 7 elections, on August 8. This was revealed by NTC member Othman Ben Sassi, one day after the head of High Election Commission, HNEC, Nouri Alabaar officially announced the final results of the election for the National Congress.
Up till now, despite the publication of the results of the election by the electoral commission on July 17, the confirmation of said results on July 30 after the two weeks reserved for any appeals, and the approval of the preliminary results on August 1, the NTC is still running the country and people have been wondering when the NTC would transfer power to the newly elected government.
Mr. Al Abaar stated at a press conference in Tripoli that the period between the announcement of the preliminary results and the announcement of the final results was more than enough for anyone to challenge the results and all the actions taken by the High National Election Commission
Mr.Al Abaar said that 37 appeals were considered by the magistrates. Five of the appeals were not accepted and 31 were rejected. Only one appeal was accepted and the name of the winning candidate was dropped.
He pointing to the resumption of 25 appeals by the heads of the initial courts who ruled to support the decisions of 19 appeals and the invalidity of three others.
Mr. Alabaar also stated that the Board of the Commission specialised in looking into complaints and elective disputes had received 16 complaints. Six of them were rejected because they were submitted after the deadline; seven were accepted but rejected due to its subject and three were referred to the Board of the commission.
He confirmed that the Board of the Commission decided to re-sort and count in two elective centres in the sub-district Tazirbo belonging to the fourth main district. He said that this did not lead to the change of the preliminary results, explaining that the complaints and disputes submitted to the subcommittees in the elective districts were reviewed and actions are taken according to law.
Mr. Alabaar said that after reviewing all the complaints and appeals, the announced preliminary results were not altered. The results were then sent confirming the final results for the elections of the National Congress.
He added that the Board of the commission issued resolution number (102) on the 31st of July 2012 which included the approval of the final results of the elections of the National Congress, stating that this resolution allows the National Congress to receive its commitments from the NTC immediately.
He further said that all candidates should submit financial reports for their election campaign within 15 days from the date of the announcement of the final results, and to remove all the posters used in their campaigns.
Meanwhile, an electoral commission official has provided a further insight into the matter declaring that the first meeting of the GNC would take place the following day, adding that details of the changeover were still being determined.
The transition will reportedly involve a “symbolic ceremony” in which the elected 200-member legislative assembly will officially receive the responsibility of government.
The GNC is made up of 80 persons representing the political parties that contested the election, and 120 independent representatives. It will undertake the task of assigning an interim government to guide the country to the 2013 elections. The Libyan constitution will be drafted by a constituent committee comprising of 60 members.
The results of the elections were confirmed by the electoral commission on 30 July, after two weeks open to appeals.
Having the majority of seats, the independent candidates are said to possess the means to affect the balance of power in the assembly, prompting reports of strategical behaviour from the parties intending to increase their influence by getting as many independents as possible on their side..
“Everyone is talking to everyone, parties and independents,” Mr Othman Ben Sassi. However, the relative success of this tactic remains unclear as the independent representatives remain just that – independent.
While it is true that some do hold informal connections to parties, the majority of the representatives have won their seats by appealing to their areas’ local issues and relying on family, friends and social links.
The National Forces Alliance led by Mahmoud Jibril caught the media spotlight in the past few weeks after scooping up the best part of the party seats, winning 39 out of the 80. Its biggest rivals, the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction party followed lagged well behind with 17 seats.
Mohammed Sawan, leader of the Islamic Party, allegedly believes that whatever the party lacks in seats, it can make up for with ties to independent representatives, demonstrating the crucial position that the independents hold.
It is reliably understood that several independent representatives are also beginning to forge an alliance alone, separate from Jibril’s NFA and the Justice and Construction party.
This is a trend that is quickly becoming dominant, arising from the need for two-thirds of congress to agree in order to make a decision. Either way, an ultimately united congress is definitely what everybody desires in these fragile times.