LIBYAPROPECT – Editorial
Some Libyan factions in Libya, east and west, started talking about the actual preparations for holding the general elections after the visit of the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to Libya lately.
This had appeared step by step in the Libyan political scene, especially after Le Drian talked about supporting Paris meeting, which would solve the dispute between Italy and France on Libya.
Observers raised questions about who is still trying to obstruct the political operation inside Libya and why.
Some Libyan factions, who had met Le Drian, revealed that there are some severe obstructions in front of the political operation. Le Drian stressed that the House of Representatives (HoR) should convene to issue the constitution referendum law. Therefore, the HoR announced that its meeting would be on Monday.
On the western side of Libya, the head of the State Council, Khaled El-Meshri, said that he doubts that the HoR would be able to convene to issue the law because some sides might refuse the results of the elections.
In the same context, the Misratan HoR members required to carry out the referendum before the elections.
According to the Paris meeting, the Libyan factions agreed to have the referendum by 16 September before coming to the elections in December.
It is worth mentioning that the constitution draft, which was voted on by the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) on 29 July 2017, was stopped because some sides in the HoR had refused to attend the meetings.
Some sides on the eastern side of Libya said that the HoR should give a chance to the head of the Dignity Operation, General Khalifa Haftar, and his army to control all Libya. They had alleged that Haftar was the only person who could fight terrorism and then to have another chance to participate in the elections to rule the country.
On the other side, Tamazight, in the western front of Libya, and Tabu tribes announced that they refuse to participate in the referendum on the constitution stressing that is not fair because the CDA had ignored their rights in the constitution draft.
Observers said that the prime problem that obstructs the operation is Haftar himself; adding that one could discover this from the statements of the HoR member, Zeyad Dughaim, who said that “how could we accept a constitution that prevents Haftar from having his right to participate in becoming the president of Libya.”
Haftar himself tried to act before the referendum by accepting the Political Agreement after his meeting with the head of the Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al-Sarraj, in Paris. But his attempt was manoeuvring to circumvent the constitution because he had continued to control more areas in the eastern side of Libya, such as the city of Derna and the oil ports in the petroleum crescent region. Haftar’s army also stated that the PC and the Political Agreement was not accepted by them.
It is worth mentioning that the boycotting member of the PC), Ali Al-Qatrani, announced, last week, that Barqa Province was outside the Libyan Political Agreement. Then he announced, on Tuesday, the cancellation of the meeting, which was decided to be held on Thursday in Benghazi.
Observers said that cancelling the meeting was decided after the visit of the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to Libya to meet some official personalities including the commander of the Dignity Operation, General Khalifa Haftar.
A source said that France told Haftar to order Al-Qatrani and the other PC member, Fathi El-Majbari, not to announce exiting the Political Agreement.
The source stated that France warned Haftar of withdrawing from the Political Agreement as this step might consider Haftar as an obstacle in front of the peace operation in Libya.