Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Mohamed Eljarh writes for Foreign Policy on the recent supreme court ruling in Libya that invalidated this summer’s parliamentary elections:
Today, Libya’s Supreme Court has declared the country’s internationally recognized and democratically elected House of Representatives illegal and unconstitutional. Boycotting Islamist and Misratan members of the House of Representative and Islamist members of the former legislature (the General National Congress, or GNC), lodged the legal challenge against the new legislature back in August. The House of Representatives, which is currently sitting in Tobruk, called for an emergency session to consider the Supreme Court’s decision, and announced that it rejects the court’s ruling.
Many House representatives and observers I spoke to seemed confused about the ruling. “We thought the [court case] was about the place where the parliament was sitting and not the elections that brought it into power,” said Farag Bo Hashim, the House’s spokesperson. Indeed, the initial legal challenge was lodged on the basis that the parliament should be sitting in Benghazi and not Tobruk. But the court ruled that the electoral process and the constitutional amendment that made those elections possible did not follow the proper protocol.