The Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, said on Friday that he had agreed with Khaled Mishri, the head of the High State Council (HSC), to unify Libya’s two contesting governments ‘‘as soon as possible’’.
The statement came during a joint press conference by Saleh and Mishri at the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rabat following their meetings.
At the press conference Saleh stated that the two had agreed to implement the outputs of the Bouznika path related to sovereign positions in the coming weeks and before the end of December 2022.
Saleh added that he had agreed with Mishri to resume dialogue in order to do what is necessary to hold presidential and parliamentary elections according to a clear roadmap and legislation on the basis of which elections are held in agreement between the two bodies.
The announcement by Saleh and Mishri in Rabat drew a critical response on Friday from incumbent caretaker prime minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba.
Aldabaiba, said talk of parallel tracks, such as sharing sovereign positions, is no longer acceptable. He said Libyans are asking everyone to fulfil their obligations towards the elections.
He said he renews his request to Saleh and Mishri to expedite the adoption of a fair constitutional rule that ends the legal problem that prevents the holding of elections, as happened last December.
Mishri responds to Aldabaiba
HSC head Mishri, in turn, responded to Aldabaiba’s tweet with his own tweet, asking Aldabaiba to ‘‘stop selling illusions to the people.”
“You have to provide treatment for oncology patients and the textbook for our students, and you have nothing to do with what is not your specialty or your powers; Just do your job.”, he added.
The reality is that neither Saleh nor Mishri have had the power, or military force to unite the two contesting Libyan governments.
The Tripoli-based Libyan government led by Aldabaiba is backed by enough militia power to keep it in office. The HoR has attempted, unsuccessfully and on several occasions, to install the HoR-backed Fathi Bashagha government in Tripoli – peacefully and through proxy militias.
Saleh and Mishri’s pronouncements in Rabat have little effect on the ground in Tripoli – Libya’s centre of money and power.
In reality, while Saleh, Mishri and Aldabaiba make public calls for elections – all three benefit from the political quagmire and status quo. An election would very likely lead to the ejection of all three.