By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 16 May 2016:
The President of the House of Representatives (HoR) Ageela Saleh has called on all members to . . .[restrict]attend a session in Tobruk as soon as possible to vote on the Government National of Accord (GNA). In a video issued by his media office, he also warned members of the Presidency Council that if any of them did not turn up in Tobruk to present the Government of National Accord to parliament, bringing with them the CVs of the proposed ministers, there would be no vote and they would be dismissed.
“If some members of the Presidency Council refuse to attend it means they don’t recognise us. In this case, we cannot approve a government,” he warned.
He also said that before voting on the government there would first be a vote on amending the 2011 Constitutional Declaration to incorporate the Libya Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat in December. There would also have to be a change a change to the LPA: the HoR would declare that it was the only body that could appoint the heads of the sovereign institutions such the governor of the Central Bank of Libya.
At present, the LPA states that the appointment of heads of sovereign institutions is to be done by the HoR and the State Council together although after the initial appointment, they can be removed and new appointments made by the HoR alone, but by a two-thirds majority.
Additionally, Ageela Saleh said that the HoR would review the performance of the Libya Dialogue Committee and that some of its members could be replaced.
The announcement follows a meeting in Beida two days ago between the HoR president and his two deputies, Emhemed Shouaib and Ahmaid Huma, to break the GNA deadlock . The latter lead a majority of HoR members who support giving approval to the new government.
It is not clear how sincere Ageela Saleh is being in his statement. It is likely to be seen a little more than fresh manoeuvering by him.
Known to be opposed to the new government led by Faiez Serraj, he is under great pressure to find a solution. He has been sanctioned by both the US and the EU who accuse him of deliberately preventing a session to debate the GNA and the LPA from taking place. He also faces the prospect of the HoR splitting, with the majority of members setting themselves up in Tripoli and probably voting to sack him.
His latest proposals certainly appear less than straightforward. He is well aware that the demand for all Presidency Council members to turn up to Tobruk will not be met. Some, notably Ahmed Maetig, have said they will not go. They are believed to be afraid for their security.
The instance that a vote first take place on amending the Constitutional Declaration could also stall the process. With some hundred HoR members saying they back the unity government, the numbers are there to vote it into office. However, amending the Constitutional Declaration requires a two-thirds majority and it is far from clear that there are en0ugh members to support it.
As for the demand that the HoR alone appoint heads of sovereign institutions, that is likely to be rejected by the Presidency Council, the State Council, the Libya Dialogue and the international community.
Events have in any case moved on with the Presidency Council’s announcement today that it was activating the GNA. [/restrict]