By Fadel Lamen
For the House of Representatives (HoR), which its head and members receive thousands of Libyan Dinars a month in salaries, to reconvene and perform their duties towards the public is welcomed after long months of conflicts and disputes, some of which led to the withdrawal firearms.
According to the law, the members of the HoR are public servants, as is the case with state employees. They can be held responsible morally and legally if they fail to perform their assigned tasks and subject them to political manipulation.
The HoR, which operates from Tobruk, has been, is, and will continue to be asked to meet the policies and legal obligations set out in the Political Agreement (PA). Meaning that the HoR and its head cannot reject the agreement or the Presidential Council (PC), which is an essential part of the PA and was authorized to form a government according to the PC.
The HoR is required to amend the Constitution and includes the Political Agreement within the constitutional declaration. It is also under an obligation to give or withhold a vote of confidence for the PC’s proposed government. Upon performing these duties, the HoR will be able to exercise its privileges according to the Political Agreement (PA) and the constitutional deceleration. The HoR will then be able to supervise the government’s activities and approve its budget, as well as issue laws, practice its legislative rights and withdraw its confidence from the government in the future if necessary.
What the HoR did can be considered as a step on the right path regarding re-exercising its responsibilities. The disagreements inside the meeting regarding specific schedules reflect trust related issues among the members, some of whom received verbal and physical threats. The head of the HoR, Ageela Saleh, and his affiliates hold the responsibility of resolving this crisis and rebuilding the trust within the chambers of the HoR.
Additionally, the absence of a significant number of members, whom for one reason or the other assumed their absence would halt the scheduled meeting, proves a lack of understanding in the dynamics of the Libyan political scene, playing the boycotting card, which I have personally warned against, will get you nowhere. This method of protest will only prevent you from participating and exclude you from the scene.
The Absentees and boycotters are required to immediately return to the HoR in Tobruk and continue with their duties, especially since the President of the HoR held a legal meeting and did not adjourn it, leaving decisions to be made through a majority vote regardless of the number of attendants. A parliamentary tactic previously practiced by the former National Congress.
Through a legal hearing clear of any ambiguity and a defined agenda, the HoR undoubtedly have the right, in performing its duties, to give or withhold confidence as they seem fit.
Once again, we welcome the convening of a formal hearing and call upon the HoR, leaders, and members, to be responsible and to create a trusting atmosphere. In addition to carrying out their duties towards the people who have put their faith in their hands, as well as ending the disruption, obstruction, delays, and bickering.
The HoR members have the right to express their opinions, attitudes, and agendas, which they represent and hold. However, it must be done by the HoR’s regulations and approved democratic principles and values.
Fadel Lamen – Chairman of Libyan National Dialogue Commission