NTC drops women quota in new electoral statute

NTC drops women quota in new electoral statute

NTC drops women quota in new electoral statute

Supporters of the May 28 Brigade stand outside the prime minister’s office as they protest Libya’s Defense Minister Osama al-Juwali’s recent visit to Bani Walid. REUTERS photo

The ruling National Transitional Council on Jan. 28 adopted a new electoral law for Libya to form its first constituent assembly in June, dropping a quota set aside for women. The adoption came amid clashes in Bani Walid.

The law, announced on the NTC’s Facebook page, scraps a draft proposal that would have reserved 10 percent of seats on the 200-member General National Congress for women, after it was criticized by women’s and rights groups. The law stipulates that two-thirds of the congress be made up of candidates from political groups, with the rest going to independent members, Agence France-Presse reported.

First post-Gadhafi summit
“The new law has abandoned the 10 percent quota reserved for women” that was proposed in the draft version of the law earlier this month, NTC member Mukhtar al-Jaddal told Agence France-Presse.

The NTC said on its Facebook page that the adopted law calls for 136 seats of the assembly to go to candidates of political parties and the remaining 64 seats to be held by independents. However, it also said each political party must have equal numbers of men and women in its list of candidates for the 136 seats. The NTC was to adopt the law last week but postponed it after violent protests at its offices in the eastern city of Benghazi. NTC troops also have surrounded the Bani Walid, Anatolia news agency reported. Meanwhile, African Union (AU) leaders met yesterday for their first summit since the death of the bloc’s founder Moammar Gadhafi.

The leaders are expected to choose the next AU chairman to succeed Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. The African leaders will also discuss the long-running conflict in Somalia.