By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli/Benghazi/Beida, 9 October 2015:
Proposed names for Libya’s Government of National Accord announced late last night by UN Special Envoy . . .[restrict]Bernardino Leon have succeeded in uniting the country – in opposition to them.
In Tripoli as well as in Benghazi, Beida, Marj and Tobruk, protesters took to the streets this afternoon rejecting the proposals.
Protected by police and army units with a helicopter flying overhead, well over a thousand protestors turned up in Benghazi’s Kish Square. They accused Leon of supporting terrorism and imposing a Muslim Brotherhood and Misratan government on Libya. In Beida too there was a large demonstration outside the court, damning Leon’s nominees, particularly those of Misratan political figures Abdurrahman Sewehli as president of the State Council and Fathi Bashagha as national security chief.
Libyan air force MiGs flew over both the Beida and Benghazi demonstrations in a show of support.
In Tripoli, numbers were much smaller in Martyrs Square – around 150 turned up – but there too there was similar anger at the selection of Sewehli and Bashagha with protestors claiming that both supported terrorists.
In addition to the choice of Faiez Al-Serraj as prime minister and Ahmed Maetig, Fathi Majbri and Musa Al-Kuni as deputy prime ministers, Leon also announced 15 other names which he suggested should become ministers in the new government. They are Fathi Hangari, Osama Siala, Osama Sayd, Tareq Yousef, Abdessalam Hassi, Shibani Buhamoud, Mustafa Abushagur, Ashour Shuwail, Ibrahim Nayed, Abu Ajila Saifelnasr, Salam Kenan, Amal Hajj, Iman ben Younis, Khalil Bakoush, Mahmoud ben Shaaban, Murad Hamaima, and Taher El-Sonni.
There has been some confusion as to whether the list was decided by him or by members of the Dialogue team. In his press statement last night, he said they were a “proposal from the national dialogue”. (He has always insisted that Libya Dialogue proposals came from the Libyans and not from himself.) But when then asked about them he said that “I made it very clear, this is a proposal from the United Nations. This is not a proposal that the members of the dialogue have made. We have been listening to all of them. We have been taking names from all of them, but the final responsibility of making a list this is from the United Nations.”
The proposal of two members of the General National Congress’ (GNC) negotiating team as top state officials in the new set-up – Sewehli as president of the State Council and Mohamed Al-Amari as one of the members of the presidential council – has meanwhile drawn sharp responses from both men.
Amari said he was astonished at all the names because the GNC had not proposed any so far. For his part, Sewehli, who refused the post of State Council president, said that it was not Leon’s to give, and accused him of making the offer in bid to get the GNC backing for the deal.
“Leon used my name to approve his proposed government project, which the GNC was not part of,” he said on Nabaa TV.
Under Article 21 of the proposed Dialogue Draft, the choice of State Council president rests with its members.
The unamended text of Leon’s press conference statement in Skhirat, as issued by UNSMIL, is as follows:
So after a year of work in this process, after working with more than 150 Libyan personalities from all the regions, from all the political affiliations, working in six, seven different locations in Libya, six , seven different locations all over the world in different countries, different continents, finally the moment has come in which we can propose a national unity government.
Let me, first of all, remember the Libyan people who have are watching us who have been encouraging the reps and the participants in this dialogue and especially those for whom this proposal arrives too late. Too many Libyans have lost their lives, too many children have been suffering too many mothers have been suffering according to the united nations agencies around 2.4 million Libyans are in a situation of humanitarian need. For all of them our apologies for not having been able to propose this government before but also our joy because there is at least a chance.
And I would like to ask all these Libyans to think of an opportunity for their country but also an opportunity for so many people in the region, in Syria Iraq, Yemen, countries where they cannot even afford the luxury of what we are doing here today which is to propose something, to propose a list of names that can be agreed by everybody. I say ‘can be agreed’, because it will not necessarily be agreed by everybody and we are sure that many people will think that some of the names or maybe all the names are not good. And that they could have proposed a better list, no doubt. This was not an easy task. We have been listening to many people, inside and outside the dialogue. And we believe that this list can work, but as I said we would encourage the Libya people to understand that the options were not infinite that perfection maybe was not a possibility but I think that it is a quite reasonably good list of names, politicians, personalities that will do their best, I’m sure, to take their country out of this crisis.
The second message, of course, is to thank all the personalities that have participated and have provided names, ideas, suggestions for this list of names. There is a political agreement and this is the result of many hours, many days and months of work, And equally this list of names the same.
It is the sacrifice, the capacity to work, the capacity to team up together to overcome differences of all the personalities that are here with me and some others who are not here today and we think of them and we remember them exactly as all the ones that are here and their courage, their generosity, their creativity deserves from all the Libyans and from the international community recognition and praise.
Let me equally thank the international community, all the special envoys, ambassadors, representatives of different countries, they are most of them also here with us, international organizations, countries all of them interested in achieving peace and prosperity in Libya.
We, the intenational community, the Libyans, all those involved in this dialogue think that Libya is a great country and Libya is going to prove if this government is agreed and this government can work that it is a great country that is able to overcome the huge challenges it has, humanitarian, economic, financial, security, mafias trafficking with people, but also become a reference, an example as I said before for to all those who are suffering. For the United Nations, for all the team it has been a privilege has been an honour to work with so many Libyans, not only the ones who are here today, representatives of the Libyan institutions, representatives of the Libyan civil society, municipalities, political parties, tribes, really very wide representation of the Libyan people, and I want to enhance very specially, because sometimes they are not mentioned, represetatives of the women, representatives of youth organizations. Their contribution has been really precious and their contribution, I am sure, will be extremely important and precious for the coming months. So it’s a privilege and honour to work with you all. And if I can add as a personal note, for me it has been an extremely rewarding experience. I have learned a lot every day, a lot of good lessons from all of them. And it has equally been extremely rewarding for me to work with an incredibly good – the best team of people in the United Nations, no doubt. Their sacrifice their capacity really has also been instrumental to reach this result.
Before I read the list of names, I think we all agree, participants in the dialogue, international community, media that our hosts here in Morocco have been an instrumental, a fundamental element for the success of these talks. Morocco has played a very important role, not only hosting, facilitating what we have been doing but doing much more than that. And I want to mention His Majesty King Mohammed VI. I want to mention His Government, and I want to mention all the team of foreign affairs and other Moroccan institutions that have been supporting us.
And finally, before I read the list, just let me thank you all, the guys from the media. You have been also suffering with us, press meetings at 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock in the morning. Today, you have bene waiting for too long. Sorry for making you wait. As I said, it’s a joke I said to one of your colleagues yesterday, it’s much safer to be a sports journalist, you know the time in which the football, basketball match start and finish it’s not the case with political negotiations.
Anyway, the proposal we have for the government, first of all let me say that there as you know the previous team to lead the presidential council, to lead the government was five personalities. It has been agreed to add one personality. There will be six members of this presidential council. This was a proposal that was made initially in the dialogue. We were discussing whether five or six, finally it will be six personalities.
The prime minister proposed is Mr. Fayez Sarraj. He’s an MP at the House of Rerpestenateie from Tripoli. It is proposed as the three deputy prime ministers: Mr. Ahmed Meitig, Mr. Fathi Mejbari and Mr. Musa Kuni. One of them from the west, one from the east and one from the south. And the two senior ministers to complete the presidential council proposed, one is Mr. Omar Aswad from Zintan and the other is Mohammed Ammari. You know him very well, he is a member of the GNC dialogue team.
I want to enhance two important elements here. One is that all of them will work as a team. We don’t have the time now to dwell on details on the voting system but this will be a team, their votes are expected to have the same value in the first rounds of voting. And then in the process, of course, a system to overcome the possible blockades will be agreed but all of them, I insist, will have similar importance, and all of them will have to work as a team.
It has been proposed also that all of them rotate in the representation role that corresponds to Libya in the international scene and this will also be a way to show the importance that all of them have in this team.
It has also been proposed a list of names to accompany, be part of the government representing different regions, different cities, and I would like to insist that this is a proposal from the national dialogue but these are not members of the government yet.
They have to be accepted by members of the Presidential Council and they will decide to accept these proposals and whether the members will be ministers of the future government.
However, the members of the National dialogue believe it is important to make some of these suggestions and this will add something that has been extremely important for all of us.
So the List of ministers proposed are:
Mr. Fathi Hangari, Mr. Osama Siyala, Mr. Osama Sayd, Mr. Tareq Yousef, Mr. Abdelsalam Hassi, Mr. Shibani Buhamoud, Mr. Mustafa Aboushagur, Mr. Ashour Shuwail, Mr. Ibrahim Nayed, Mr. Abu Ajila Saifelnasr, Mr. Salam Kenan, Mrs. Amal Hajj, Mrs. Iman ben Younis, Mr. Khalil Bakoush, Mr. Mahmoud ben Shaaban, Mr. Murad Hamaima, Mr. Taher Sunni.
And there are two more very important proposals. One of them is the National Security Adviser, the person proposed to chair the National Security Council, which will have the rank of a minister, and the proposal is Mr. Fathi Bashagha. And finally, also another important proposal., the person wo is proposed to to chair the State Council in the transitional phase and, of course, once the transitional phase is finished, it will be up to the State Council to either confirm or not confirm. But the proposal to chair the State Council is Mr. Abdelrahman Sweihli.
So, this is the proposal from the national dialogue. What I ask all the Libyans is not to think what is missing, what they would have liked to see in this list and they don’t see, but to think that this if supported by all Libyans will be the best government in the world. And if it is not supported, no matter how good they are it’s not going to work. This government will need huge support of the Libyan people and then, I insist, will be the best possible government, will need the support of all the personalities that are represented here, that ones that are back in the different institutions and in the Libyan civil society, and I am sure there will be also a lot of support from the international community. It will not be the lack of support from the international community that will make this government not to fullfil all the expectations. We will be there. The international community knows that more presence, more supports is expected from them and when I encourage today all the Libyans to support. I can assure them also the international community is going to provide their utmost support for the government. So this is what I wanted to tell you tonight.
The GNC as you know decided yesterday not to propose names and to ask for more changes in the text. The international community has been very clear that after huge efforts to adopt the text, two successive rounds of amendments, it is not possible to continue to do this because this will be an endless process. We know there are concerns and there are legitimate concerns on both sides. We know that this agreement, we have always insisted in this point. This agreement is not answering all the concerns from both sides. But there is a moment in which it is time to finish this is it. It is the best possible proposal. We will still introduce couple of elements in the text, one is a better formulation of the sharia, as I explained yesterday because this proposed by all the Libyans sand this is something supported by all the Libyans. And equally more guarantees for those who have been involved in the fighting but also for those who have been working in the different institutions, they have to be reassured. Those who have been in the different governments, in the different administration jobs, they should not be concerned it is time for reconciliation and we will add extra guarantees for all of them. So these points can still be enhanced but also there is a moment as I said this is it, this is the final proposal. But as you know there are two names, Mr. Ahmed Meitig, Mr. Mohamed Ammari, that have been proposed by different members of the GNC at an individual basis, not as an institution. We believe that it is still important to try and to leave the door open, and this is something that all members of the dialogue support and encourage.
The door will be open and they will always be expected to join and to be part of this, hopefully, solution for Libya. So we will see what they reaction of these personalities, whether they can accept to be part of this government as we hope and we will encourage still the GNC to reconsider their position to find ways to cooperate and to be part, I insist, to be part of the solution. But the decision they took yesterday is that for the moment we are not there.
No, this is a proposal, I made it very clear, this is a proposal from the United Nations. This is not a proposal that the members of the dialogue have made. We have been listening to all of them. We have been taking names from all of them, but the final responsibility of making a list this is from the United Nations.
Let me say this in a different way. If this is a failure it will be my failure, as Bernardino Leon. If this is a success it will be a success of all the personalities that are here, that have been providing the names for the government.
They are expected to endorse the agreement. Annex 1 of the agreement is this list of names. We finished last week all the annexes of the text. We have only one pending issue, Annex No. 1, the list of six names. Now the agreement is finished and all the participants, the HoR, the GNC, all those participating, in the municipalities, Civil Society Organizations, the tribes, etc. they are all expected to endorse the agreement and, of course, do it before the 20th of October, by voting.