Libya Parliament Suspends Discussions on Constitutional Referendum Law

Libya Parliament Suspends Discussions on Constitutional Referendum Law

Wednesday, 15 August, 2018 - 07:15
Images circulated by Libyan media of armed groups setting up barriers in Tripoli on Tuesday.
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
Libya’s parliament suspended on Tuesday discussions on the constitutional referendum draft-law until after next week’s Eid al-Adha holiday.

Parliament spokesman Abdullah Bleiheq said that the lawmakers agreed on the draft-law and all that was left to do was amend the constitution to accommodate for it.

The amendment will be made during a parliament session after the Adha holiday.

Tuesday’s session was not without incident.

Lawmakers who attended the meeting spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat about arbitrary gunshots that left MP Saleh Hashem wounded. The shots were fired after a verbal spat erupted between parliament security guards.

The MPs denied claims that gunmen had stormed the parliament building or threatened the lawmakers.

A security source, meanwhile, said that one of the guards was wounded by a stray bullet fired accidentally by a weapon in Hashem’s possession inside the building.

Parliament speaker’s media aide, Fathi al-Mariamy added that a dispute had erupted in front of parliament. Hashem, he said, was wounded outside the building after he engaged in verbal dispute with one of the guards.

MP Ibrahim al-Zaghid made light of the severity of this incident, dismissing it as “simple problems that have been resolved.”

He added that 92 lawmakers attended Tuesday’s session to discuss the referendum and divide Libya into three electoral districts.

Elsewhere, Tripoli residents spoke of militias setting up sand barriers on a main road, preventing travelers from heading from the western part of the capital to the east and vice versa.

It appeared that the move was in protest to the kidnapping of Souk al-Jomaa neighborhood locals by another armed group.

Security sources underscored the gravity of the situation, warning that violence could erupt in the capital at any moment.

Addressing the development, the Interior Ministry of the Government of National Accord simply announced that it had raised the alert level of all of its security agencies ahead of the Adha holiday.

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