The Goodwill Charter is a tool for voters who want to ensure their next representative shares their sense of priorities in Libya’s democratic transition.
The Charter was drafted through a series of surveys and focus groups seeking to identify the priorities of the transition based on the opinions of the general public and civil society. It contains what many believe needs to be done in Libya in order to establish stability and the rule of law in Libya. All 1200 candidates for the House of Representatives (HoR) were sent an SMS and e-mail with the charter link and their username and password to sign the charter. We believe that the candidates that have signed the Goodwill Charter demonstrate that they are serious about making the difficult decisions required for change, and will enforce the articles therein to the best of their abilities once elected. Candidates that have signed the charter are then promoted by the initiative by sending SMS’s and e-mails to the constituents of the committed candidates, informing them which candidates signed the charter .
In voting for the men and women who have collectively made the electorate these promises, voters ensure the development of a legislative body that is committed to making measurable progress toward security and stability in the months ahead. The Goodwill Charter Campaign was only able to operate for 5 days, as the HoR elections were moved up by three months due to political unrest and insecurity. Despite having less than a week, roughly 9% of the HoR candidates signed the Goodwill charter, the majority of whom were elected into the House of Representatives.
This campaign was lead by the New Libya Foundation, and Forum for Democratic Libya, which are non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan Libyan organizations.
The authors of the charter are not experts in state affairs, but have genuinely worked to hear from Libyans everywhere and in order to represent their desires before drafting the articles of this charter
Brief translation of the Articles of the Charter in English:
1) I shall place my loyalty to the nation above all else, including personal, familial, ethnic, regional, tribal, or party loyalties. I shall remain steadfast and courageous in my service to the nation, and shall not succumb to violent threat, blackmail or bribery, for the sake of placing the good of he nation above all else.
2) I shall work toward the founding of a civil, democratic state, based on the constitution, institutions, the rule of law, justice, security and general rights and freedoms, on political pluralism and the peaceful exchange of power.
3) I shall act as a representative to my constituency, and shall base all my legislative decisions on sufficient consultation, polling and research, and build channels to ensure the active participation of civil society in policy making.
4) I shall work to the fullest extent to ensure transparency, and accountability, to ensure the records and votes of all congressional committees and assemblies are made available in order to earn the trust of the Libyan people.
5) I shall work to ensure the fundamental democratic principle of separation of powers is promoted and applied within the House of Representatives, that the House shall not engage in any executive or judicial powers of any nature, that the separation of these powers empower the judicial and executive branches to hold myself and fellow members of congress accountable to upholding our public duties.
6) I shall make my priority the building of state security institutions, including the armed forces, police, intelligence and security apparatus, and ensuring such institutions take order from the Head of State (head of the Executive). I shall work to disable, disarm and dismantle all armed groups not under the direction of the Head of State, and ensure the removal of all such groups from public and private properties including military bases, airports, seaports, and border control facilities. I shall continue to promote a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process by instilling trust in the state and state institutions through open dialogue, and extensive transparency and accountability measures in the legislative and governance process.
7) I shall work to draft and pass legislation promoting state monopoly on power, criminalize “military wings”, and militias for the use of any groups, private or public, including government entities, political parties, figures, tribes, ethnic or provincial groups.
8) I shall work to draft and pass legislation to prevent all forms of incitement to hatred, discrimination, mistrust and intolerance against any group or individual, and any extremist ideology that is incompatible with tolerance, pluralism, freedom and equality.
9) I will strengthen the role of the House of Representatives in the monitoring of government and state institutions performance and outcomes, with particular attention to security and financial institutions such as the Central Bank of Libya, without interference. I shall work to make transparent the general budget preparation and expenditure process, and oversee expenditure with precision.
10) I will work to combat financial and administrative corruption. I will expedite the investigation of any fraud, irregularities, or illegal expenses at the hands of the public authority before February 17, 2011 and after, including the National Transitional Council, the General National Congress, their successive governments. I will make public the results of such findings and move to take legal action in cases where there is evidence of mismanagement or theft.
11) I will work to combat terrorism in all its forms, and to investigate and report on any individual or party supporting terrorism verbally, financially, physically or virtually, and the pursuit of prosecution, as I pledge to promote the conviction that the only manner in which terrorism is defeated and security is achieved through the presence of a functioning state, and institutions that advance human development, opportunity and education.
12) I will seek to provide adequate capacity for justice institutions enabling their role in the rule of law and protection of human rights and freedoms, and I commit to advance the rights and role of women, minorities, youth and persons with disabilities and special needs and consider them full partners in the building of the homeland, vowing to establish all the means necessary to enable their active participation in society and to protect them from violence and discrimination.
13) I will ensure that the Grand Mufti is not permitted interference in state affairs, particularly the passing of religious decrees which compromise the re-building mandate of the legislative, judicial or executive branches of government, and to ensure that decrees are limited to solicited advice on spiritual and religious matters. Should the public seek official decrees from religious authority on broader topics, I will seek to establish a council of religious leaders from the various religious sects within Libyan society, whom pass decrees upon consensus.
14) I will not impede the work of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly or to seek to influence them. I will ensure that the body has adequate protection, resources and time required to perform it’s duties, and shall hold the body accountable to upholding a transparent, inclusive and participatory constitution making process as defined in their by-laws and procedures.
15) I will abide by the principles and processes contained in the interim constitutional declaration until the adoption of Libya’s new constitution through a popular referendum.
16) I commit to upholding the highest ethical codes, shall resist the diminishment or personal attacks on any individuals, blocks or parties and will work in good faith to represent my constituency, taking into account all the conflicting views to reach consensus by searching for common ground and the public good.
17) I shall draft and work to gain the adoption of laws, rules and regulations and a code of ethics to ensure the implementation of all the above articles in this Charter, and to enact these guarantees in the form of laws during the first 60 days of my term as a member of the House of Representatives.
Please visit www.Almithaq.ly (in Arabic) for more information.