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[Exclusive Interview] Sowane: UAE and Egypt play games bigger than their sizes

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 LIBYAPROSPECT – Exclusive Interview

The Head of Justice and Construction Party in Libya, Mohamed Sowane, talks to “LIBYAPROSPECT” about his point of views and his party’s opinions regarding the Action Plan of the United Nations Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame.

LIBYAPROSPECT had interviewed Sowane asking about his opinion on the meeting of the two committees of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the State Council that held in Tunisia, last week, under the supervision of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Sowane raises a question on who has the right to nominate the members of the Presidential Council after reducing it from nine members to only three. He also asked about how to choose and appoint the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army and the new prime minister.

Sowane told LIBYAPROSPECT that “the time is limited, and if the consensus wouldn’t be achieved then Salame will find himself looking for alternative ways to come to an accord and agreement.”

Sowane told LIBYAPROSPECT that the HoR is abducted by a small group led by the head of the HoR.

The following is LIBYAPROSPECT’s exclusive interview with Mohamed Sowane:

LIBYAPROSPECT: How do you evaluate the meeting of the committees of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the State Council to amend the Political Agreement? And how are you expecting its results?

Sowane: The meeting of the two delegations of the HoR and the State Council hadn’t achieved any progress on any controversial points. The controversial aspects are still there, the only things the committees agreed on are the point of reducing the Presidential Council (PC) from nine members to only three and assigning a prime minister separated from the PC. These two points are not controversial.

The problem is that other points need to be agreed on including who has the right to select the names to be appointed to the positions and who has the right to set the authorities of the PC. The other important point is who would be appointed to become the supreme commander of the army

The other question is about the term “8” in the Political Agreement because there is a significant dispute on it.

Would the PC participate in the legislative tasks as another room? And how about expanding the State Council?

Those points remain without agreements, and the questions are not answered. It looks like that the consensus would be achieved in a quick time as the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, desires. The time is limited, and if the consensus wouldn’t be completed, then Salame will find himself looking for alternative ways to come to accord and agreement.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Some observers said that the original Political Agreement should be included in the amendments of the Constitutional Declaration before amending the Political Agreement. The observers added that the Political Agreement hadn’t been contained in the Constitutional Declaration, which means that the committees meeting is illegal before endorsing the Political Agreement and including it in the Constitutional Agreement. How do you comment on this?

Sowane: The solution in Libya is political if the parties agree. The political solution would ease the solution from the legal side. All bodies, including the HoR, need the legal treatment because their legal situations are necessary to be considered. The HoR, for instance, didn’t recognize the State Council. However, we consider the meeting of the HoR and the State Council as a positive step in the direction of an initial agreement. This step, as we believe, had ended the controversy, the step is counted for the State Council as a success.

In fact, all observers aware that the HoR is abducted by a small group led by the head of the HoR. The head of the HoR and the small group are supported from regional countries that intervene in Libya openly and negatively. These countries are playing a game more prominent than their sizes while the big countries had retracted because their interests in Libya are conflicted. That is the real reason for the failure of the Political Agreement.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Which regional countries do you mean?

Sowane: Clearly, I mean The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt. The purpose for the UAE and Egypt is to close the doors in front any success only through the militarization of the State although we noticed some positive changes in some attitudes towards the political solution. The main reason is that the military solution was not accepted, especially in the western side of Libya. The reason for that is the riskiness of the continuity of the chaos because of the terrorism and the illegal migration that threaten the whole region and Europe as well.

LIBYAPROSPECT: How do you see the Action Plan that was proposed by Salame?

Sowane: The Road Map that was proposed by Salame is ambitious and liked many sides, but the biggest challenge remains in the implementation and the seriousness of the International Community in supporting Salame.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Will you and your party participate in the proposed general elections? Will your party nominate one candidate or more in the elections? Or will you support candidates from outside the party?

Sowane: Firstly, we hope to reach the elections stage because it would end the political division in Libya, which means we will get rid of the rubbles of the following transitional stages.

For us, all options are possible, either by nominating a candidate from our party or by supporting others. It is due to what the High Commission of the party decides. Our party is the only political party that still maintains its cohesion; our meetings are organized at all levels despite the vicious attack on our party works because of the absence of the culture of the institutional work in Libya.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Are you ready to participate in the expanded national conference that planned to be held in the near future according to Salame’s proposal? What are your ideas if you join?

Sowane: The features of the expanded national conference are unclear. Even its role and the attending parties. Our idea is that the conference would be a good idea for the factions to participate and agree on a charter that combines all Libyans. It would be a chance for more consensus to support the Political Agreement and the project of the constitution as well as the national reconciliation.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Do you think that reducing the PC from nine members to only three is a good idea? Don’t you think that amending the Political Agreement in this way would cause an unjustified extension of the transitional time? Especially because the general elections are expected to be held in the first half of the coming year.

Sowane: The Political Agreement needs to be implemented not to be amended. In fact, we consider the amendment as a reward for the ones who are obstructing the Political Agreement and the powers that support them.

But under the coercion of the reality and for the political reasons we have accepted the idea of the amendment. We wish to result in a satisfactory approach for all parties. The amendment might unmask the ones who are obstructing the process. It would uncover even the countries that support them openly. This is the reason for the International Community to take more serious attitudes.