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article imageOp-Ed: Branch of Libya's House of Representatives set up in Tripoli

By Ken Hanly     Jan 12, 2017 in Politics
Tripoli - Another weird development is taking place on the Libyan political scene. Members of the House of Representatives (HoR) who support the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libya Political Agreement (LPA) set up a branch in Tripoli.
The GNA is situated in Tripoli in western Libya whereas the HoR government is situated in Tobruk in the east. Apparently the group has been trying to organize a meeting with a quorum to vote approval of the GNA for a year now. The HoR met in Tobruk, its headquarters on August 22, and voted not to approve the GNA.
News of the new branch first broke this morning when employees of the Minister of Tourism noticed a long banner in Arabic and English announcing that it was a branch of the HoR. The building is near the main entrance to Tripoli port.
Whoever put up the banner did not bother to notify the Tourism Ministry and put it up during the night. In the morning a small protest opposing the banner took place in front of the banner. at what protesters called the takeover of their building. Apparently an entire floor of the building is to be taken over by HoR members. Later on the Ministry took photos of the banner but it was folded with its message not visible.
The Libya Herald contacted a member of the HoR who confirmed there had not been official support for the move from the HoR in Tobruk. However, the move was apparently sanctioned by Deputy Presidency Council member Ahmed Maeteg from Misrata. The member contacted by the Herald condemned the move. It is not clear that a majority of the HoR would ever support the GNA or the LPA unless the GNA allows Marshall Haftar to remain commander of the Libyan National Army. As the LPA is now the Presidency Council serves as commander in chief.
Mohamed Raied a boycotting member of the HoR from Mistrata said that steps were "underway to hold a full session of the HoR with a full quorum in Tripoli within two weeks". This may be wishful thinking. Although the HoR does accept the LPA in principle it is only with amendments that leave eastern strong man Haftar as commander in chief and change the makeup of the GNA. Even if the meeting somehow manages to take place, there will be objections to the Tripoli meeting if it is not sanctioned by the leadership of the HoR.
The Libya Observer also reports on the move to takeover the Tourism building. The paper also notes that the move sparked anger among employees when they discovered the banner on coming to work this morning. The English portion said: ""The HQ of House of Representatives". The Herald claims the staff decided to go on strike to protest the seizure without any prior notice.
Other GNA ministries had their problems as well, as Khalifa Gwell the prime minister of the Salvation Government claimed that it has taken over the buidings of the Minister of Defense, Martyr's, and Labor. Gwell executed a partial coup some time ago taking over the Rixos hotel complex which had been the headquarters of the High Council of State of the Government of National Accord. However, the complex had been seized by the GNA while it was the headquarters of the Salvation Government. The situation in Libya is becoming immensely complicated but it seems that the GNA is being exhibited more and more as ineffectual and unable to deal with its many problems. However, Italy has decided to reopen its embassy as shown in the appended video.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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