By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli/Tunis, 23 February 2016:
For the fourth time, the meeting of the House of Representatives to continue the debate and . . .[restrict]vote on the proposed Government of National Accord (GNA) has been postponed. It is now scheduled to take place next week, probably on Monday, although there is no guarantee that it will meet.
The debate started on Saturday, when prime minister-designate Faiez Serraj presented his slimmed-down cabinet list to the HoR. It produced heated argument among members resulting in the president, Ageela Salah, suspending the session till the next morning. It was again suspended till Monday because he had talks on Sunday with UN Special Envot Martin Kobler who had arrived in Tobruk. It was yet again was postponed yesterday until today.
Officially, the reason for the latest adjournment is the lack of a quorum. However, according to Abu Sleem member Saad Al-Marimi Al-Hashmi, there are between 130 and 140 members at present in Tobruk, more than enough approve the government let alone surmount the 126 votes needed to incorporate the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) into the Constitutional Declaration, should they so desire.
That is seen as the real problem. There are deepening divisions within the parliament over the LPA and some of the names on government list such as Mohamed Siala at the foreign ministry, Al-Hadi Al-Juhaimi at planning and Arif Khojja at the interior. The first two remained Qaddafi supports throughout much of the evolution while Khojja is considered suspect by many HoR members because of his links to controversial former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group leader Abdulhakim Belhaj.
There is also a growing mood in parliament that the Presidency Council should be reduced from nine to just three members – the prime minister and two deputies – on the grounds that having proved with its squabbling and walkouts that it is not united, it cannot therefore unite Libyans.
The dramatic results in the military campaign in Benghazi against the so-called Islamic State and its allies in the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council are also seen as galvanising support for the Hafter camp in parliament. Despite Special Envoy Martin Kobler again tweeting today that there can be no change to the LPA, they are increasingly determined to do precisely that.
“There is no agreement [on the government] among the members”, Al-Hashmi said.
He, along with other members, predicted that unless there were changes to the proposed list, the government would not be approved. [/restrict]