By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 26 August 2015:
Second deputy General National Congress (GNC) president Saleh Makhzoum has resigned as head of its . . .[restrict]delegation to the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue negotiations. He did so today in what is reported to be a deep disagreement with the GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain over the GNC’s continued participation in the Dialogue.
Officially, no reasons have been given although according to the Justice and Construction Party which supports the Dialogue and of which Makhzoum is a member, there has been a “lack of harmony” between him and the GNC presidency over the management of the Dialogue. The Libya Herald has been told, however, that while Makhzoum wants to follow his party’s line and stick with the Dialogue, Abu Sahmain is supporting hardliners opposed to it.
Abu Sahmain is said to have accepted the resignation.
It is not the first time that Makhzoum has resigned from the team. He quit in February but on that occasion it was not accepted by the GNC.
The next Dialogue session, which is supposed to discuss names for the prime ministership and the two deputy premiers, is due to start in Skhirat in Morocco tomorrow, Thursday. UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon, currently in Europe and due to brief the UN Security Council by video link later today, is expected to arrive in theret along with most of the delegates and the accompanying entourage of officials, advisers, special envoys and diplomats some time during the day tomorrow.
At present, however, the GNC line is that it will not take part. Abu Sahmain wrote to Leon telling him that unless its amendments to the Draft text approved last month are accepted, it will continue its boycott.
However, there are reports that the GNC has asked Leon for an emergency meeting in Algiers, to take place in parallel to the talks in Skhirat. There is, however, no confirmation from UNSMIL officials of this.
In any event, the possibility of the GNC changing its mind and sending it team to Skhirat tomorrow appears remote. Its next session when it will discuss the Dialogue is on Sunday.
The resignation of Makhzoum is seen as indicating a deep split within the GNC over participation in the Dialogue and which now may widen.