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article imageOp-Ed: In Libya only four members of PC to select new cabinet

By Ken Hanly     Aug 29, 2016 in Politics
Tripoli - The nine member Presidency Council (PC) of the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord has only until Wednesday to select a new Cabinet of just 8 members, 9 fewer than the present 17.
The Presidential Council met yesterday as well with five present. Those missing included the two boycotters who had said they would rejoin the Council. Attendance was even worse today, August 29, with only four of nine members present. Again, the former boycotters did not show up. The PM Faiez Serraj, Ahmed Maetig, Musa Koni, and Ahmed Al-Ammari were the only members present. A Libya Herald report points out that Abdulslam Kajman could not be there as he is at a conference in Nairobi on African Development. It is not clear why Fathi Majberi, Ahmed Mahdi or Omar al-Aswad were not there. The Herald claims that Ali Gatrani will not go to any meeting in Tripoli as long as it was still controlled by militia.
While the meeting yesterday was supposed to be working on the new list, apparently Koni was angry with Serraj and Maetig because southern Libya, which he represents was not being assigned a fair share of ministers and officials. There were rumors he might boycott the PC, but obviously these were not true, as he was present today. A list produced by less than half of the PC will surely lack credibility.
Meanwhile Haftar seems to be busy extending the power of the military in the east. He suspended the Benghazi municipal council and replaced it by a military colonel. Mustafa Shaqour, a member of the HoR, criticized appointment of military governors in place of civilian mayors and councils in several cities. He said that the goal of these moves is to militarize Libya . He said that gradually Libyans would be faced with a military coup. However, this appears to be happening only in the east of the country.
Speaker of the HoR, Ageela Saleh has asked that Serraj step down as head of the GNA and PC. Since no confidence was voted in the GNA by the HoR, Saleh claims that all his decisions are void and he should step down from his post in the GNA. Saleh did say that the new eight member cabinet should be chosen by an agreement among the nine member PC. He said that CVs of the members should be sent to the HoR within 10 to 15 days, allowing for a bit longer period than the original 10 days.
Saleh was also critical of UN envoy Martin Kobler claiming that he could no longer play a positive role in Libya and that he wants to be governor of Libya. He said he was interfering in oil sales and also in choosing the high commander of the army, which increased the divisions within the country. The function of commander in chief of the GNA armed forces is assigned to the PC until a new commander is chosen, according to the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement.
Given that less than half the PC are involved with choosing the new cabinet and the divisions within the HoR, it seems unlikely that a new vote of confidence can be passed or perhaps even held. There is no solution offered concerning the status of General Haftar and no mention of the crucial amendment to the Constitutional Declaration of 2011 that is necessary before the GNA can be legitimate.
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
More about Libyan Government of National Accord, Libyan House of Representatives, Presidency Council
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