Chapter V: The King
Subject to what has been provided in Article 40, sovereignty shall be vested by the nation in trust with the King Mohammed Idris el Mahdi el Senussi and after him to his male heirs, the oldest after the oldest, degree after degree.
The Throne of the Kingdom is hereditary in accordance with the two Royal Orders promulgated on 22nd of Safar 1374 H., and the 25th of Rabi’e el-Thani 1376 H., respectively. Each of these two Orders regulating the succession to the Throne shall have the same force as an article of this Constitution.
In the event of the King’s death and the Throne remaining vacant owning to the lack of successor to the King or to no successor having been appointed, the Senate and the House of Representatives shall at once hold a joint meeting -without convocation- to appoint a successor within two days; three quarters at least of the number of members of the two chambers shall be present and the voting shall take place openly by a majority of two-thirds of the members present. If the choice cannot take place within the time specified, the two Chambers shall jointly proceed to make the choice on the eleventh day, in the presence of an absolute majority of the members of each of the two Chambers and by a proportionate majority. If the House of Representatives has been dissolved the old house shall immediately meet until the King has been chosen.
Before assuming his constitutional powers, the King shall take the following oath before a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives:- “I swear by Almighty God to observe the Constitution and the laws of the country and to devote all my efforts to the maintenance of the independence of Libya and to defending the safety of its territory.”
Whenever the King wishes to travel outside Libya or when circumstances prevent or delay him temporarily from excercising his constitutional powers, he may appoint one or more Deputies to perform such duties and to excercise such rights and powers as the King may delegate to such Deputy or Deputies.
The King shall attain his majority upon the completion of his eighteenth lunar year.
If the King is a minor, or if circumstances prevent or delay him from excercising his constitutional powers and he himself is unable to appoint a Deputy or Deputies, the Council of Ministers shall with the consent of the Parliament appoint a Regent or a Council of Regency to perform the duties of the King and to excercise his rights and powers until such time as he becomes of age or is capable of exercising his powers. If Parliament is not in session it shall be convened. If the House of Representatives has been dissolved the old House shall immediately meet until such time as the Regent or Council of Regency has been appointed.
No person may be appointed a Deputy to the Throne or as a Regent or a member of the Council of Regency unless he is a Libyan and a Moslem and has completed his fortieth year (Gregorian); however, a male of the Royal Family who has completed his twenty-first year (Gregorian) may be appointed.
During the period between the death of the King and the taking of the constitutional oath by his successor to the Throne, by the Regent or by the members of the Council of Regency, the Council of Ministers shall, on its own responsibility, excercise the constitutional powers of the King in the name of the Libyan nation.
The Regent or any member of the Council of Regency shall not assume office unless he has taken the following oath before a joint meeting of the Senate and the House of Representatives:- “I swear by Almighty God to observe the Constitution and the laws of the country, to devote all my efforts to the maintenance of its territory and to be loyal to the King.” A Deputy to the Throne shall take his oath before the King or some person designated by the King.
A minister or any member of a legislative body may not be Regent or a member of a Council of Regency. If a Deputy to the Throne is a member of any legislative body he shall not take part in the activities of that body during the time he is acting as Deputy to the Throne.
If a Regent or a member of the Council of Regency, appointed in accordance with Article 50, dies or is prevented by any circumstances from performing his duties as Regent or as a member of the Council of Regency, the Council of Ministers may, with the consent of the Parliament appoint another person to replace him, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51, 53 and 54. If Parliament is not in session it shall be convened. If the House of Representatives has been dissolved, the old House shall immediately meet until such time as a Regent or a member of the Council of Regency has been appointed.
The Civil List of the King and the Royal Family shall be fixed by law; it may not be reduced during his reign but it may be increased by resolution of Parliament. The law shall limit the salaries of Deputies to the Throne and the Regents which shall be paid from the Civil List of the King.
The judicial procedures to be followed in cases brought by the Royal Estate or against it shall be regulated by a law.
The King is the Supreme Head of the State.
The King shall be inviolable. He shall be exempt from all responsibility.
The King exercises his powers through his Ministries and responsibility rests with them.
The king shall not assume a throne outside Libya except after the consent of Parliament.
The King sanctions and promulgates the laws.
The King shall make the necessary regulations for carrying out the laws without modifying or dispensing with their execution.
If, when Parliament is not in session, exceptional circumstances arise which necessitate urgent measures, the King may issue decrees in respect thereof which shall have the force of law provided that they are not contrary to the provisions of this Constitution. Such decrees must be submitted to the Parliament or if they are not approved by either of the Chambers they shall cease to have the force of law.
The King shall open the sessions of Parliament and close them, and shall dissolve the House of Representatives in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, and he may, when necessary, convene a joint meeting of the two Chambers todiscuss any important question.
The king may, if he deems necessary convene Parliament to meet in an extraordinary session; he shall also convene it upon the presentation of a petition signed by an absolute majority of the members of the two Chambers. The King shall pronounce the closure of an extraordinary session.
The King may adjourn the session of Parliament but the adjournment may not exceed a period of thirty days nor may it be repeated during the same session without the consent of both Chambers.
The King is the Supreme Commander of all the armed forces in the Kingdom of Libya; and their duties are to protect the sovereignty of the country, and the safety and security of its territories. These armed forces consist of the Army and the Security Forces.
The King shall declare war and conclude peace and enter into treaties which he ratifies after the approval of Parliament.
The King shall proclaim martial law and a state of emergency provided that he shall present the proclamation of martial law to Parliament in order to decide whether it shall continue or be replaced. If that proclamation is made when Parliament is not in session, Parliament must be urgently convened.
The King shall create and confer titles, decorations and all other signs of honour; but creation of civil titles shall be prohibited.
The King shall appoint the Prime Minister, he may remove him from office or accept his resignation; he shall appoint the Ministers, remove them from office, or accept their resignation at the proposal of the Prime Minister.
The King shall appoint diplomatic representatives and remove them from office at the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He shall accept the credentials of the heads of foreign diplomatic missions accredited to him.
The King shall establish the public services and appoint senior officials and remove them in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Currency shall be issued in the name of the King, according to law.
No death sentence imposed by any Libyan Court shall be executed except with the consent of the King.
The King shall have the right to grant pardon or to commute a sentence.