Building off of the Civil Society Constitution Initiative Manifesto, the New Libya Foundation partnered with the National Democratic Institute to create a guide to help voters learn more about the nearly 600 candidates in the Constitutional Drafting Assembly elections (the people tasked with writing Libya’s new constitution). The project is collaboration between 15 active CSOs from around Libya representing women, minorities, youth and people with physical disabilities. Together, the CSOs designed a questionnaire posing several questions to candidates to help voters better understand the candidate’s positions on the most critical matters pertaining to the constitution, including the constitution making process.
The guide began by asking candidates whether they agree to designing and implementing a constitution making process that guarantees the measures for transparency, accountability and transparency demanded in the Civil Society Constitution Initiative Manifesto. The guide followed with 6-10 questions each on the topics of State Organization, Citizenship, Economic Rights, General Rights and Freedoms, Women’s Rights, Disabilities Rights, Community Rights, and Next Generation Rights.
The Voters Guide was completed by more than 300 of the 600 candidates for the CDA, all of whom agreed to implement the measures demanded in the manifesto. The Constitutional Drafting Assembly was elected on February 20th 2014, and in May 2014, all the measures for transparency, accountability and inclusiveness were adopted in the CDA by-laws, and code of ethics.
Since the publishing of the Voters Guide, both civil society organizations and the Constitutional Assembly Candidates have become limited in their ability to promote the desired constitution making process due to security challenges. All parties appear to be working to the extent possible to promote a constitution making process for all Libyans.