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Vague fate for the GNA and the agreement

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Aya Khalil

The fate of the Government of National Accord (GNA) seems unresolved after the House of Representatives (HoR) refused to endorse the proposed government. Calls of amending the political agreement seem to unrest the political sphere in Libya too. A report by Libya Al-khbar website elaborates on the scene.

A member of the HoR convening in Tobruk, Saltana Masood said that the HoR demanded the Presidential Council (PC) to reform the minimized government within the range of 15 ministers, Libya Al-khabar reported.

The Presidency Council of the GNA issued a resolution to form the government of 32 ministries on 19 January. The deputy Prime Ministers, Ali Al-Qatrany and Omar Al-Aswad, didn’t sign the declaration for disputes due to not reaching consensus over ministers to be appointed.

This prompted the HoR to refuse the proposed government in its session held in January 25th by 89 votes out of 104 attendees, Libya Al-khabar reported.

Saltana added that, in the absence of political and partisan powers, regional motives will be dominant on the government formation. She called for choosing efficient persons to be appointed in the ministries.

In the same session the HoR voted on the political agreement signed in Skhirat and the abolishment of the 8th article of the additional provisions that moves all civilian, security and military powers to the Presidency Council of the GNA. Law observers believed that this means stripping the army chief of staff, Khalifa Haftar, of his post and powers.

Saltana said that though 90 members attended the signing ceremony in Skhirat, but they objected to the 8th article of Fezzan initiative in November 26th last year.

The report adds that, freezing the 8th article led to threats by members of the political talks of collapse, in case the HoR insists on cancelling or modifying it.

The head of talks’ team in the General National Congress (GNC) that signed the agreement, Saleh Al-Makhzoum, said in a statement that cancelling or freezing the article will be a coup on the political agreement. He added that the agreement is “take it or leave it thing”.

The United Nations special envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, said that the HoR has no right to amend the agreement in singular will.

The member of talks’ team, Fathy Bash-Agha, described what the HoR did to be illegal and unconstitutional, as it ought to modify the constitutional declaration first to enroll the agreement in it since the HoR gains its legitimacy from the agreement. He refused amending any of the agreement’s articles.

The report also shed light on Haftar’s reaction to the proposed government, which he refused. Haftar also accused Kobler of rushing announcing the government.

Close sources to Haftar, said that he objected to appointing the commander of tanks battalion 204, Colonel Al-Mahdy Al-Barghathy, as defense minister, given he isn’t close to Haftar despite he fights next to him in Dignity Operation.

In a televised statement, Haftar said that the 8th article hinders arming the military and its war against terrorist groups, he stated.

A group of the participants of the political talks refused any changes to the agreement, holding the HoR responsible for the collapse of the agreement in case it was modified in a different way from the constitutional amendment.

A group of ten including Al-Makhzoum and Mohamed Mazzeb, who signed the agreement, stated that none has the right to amend the agreement unless under article 21 of the additional provisions of the agreement. The group said in a statement published by Al-Raed TV.

They demanded the UN, as a sponsor of talks, to hold its responsibility to stop any mess up with the agreement. They also demanded the chief and the members of the GNA to uphold their roles as stipulated in the agreement.

“The voting of the HoR is a formality procedure and it has no right to refuse or amend the government formation. It plays its role later in not granting confidence in coordination with the Supreme Council of State, as mentioned in the 5th paragraph of the political agreement”, the statement read.

The statement emphasized that “the Prime Minister of the GNA didn’t hold a consultative meeting with us concerning the formation of the GNA given we are members of the talks as provided for in Article 2, paragraph 3 of the Libyan political agreement. He has to commit to apply this article in the next formation, so that he bears all the responsibility of the implementation of this agreement in order to ensure its success and achieve the country’s unity and stability”.