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article imageOp-Ed: Libyan government again fails to obtain quorum to vote on LPA

By Ken Hanly     Jan 5, 2016 in Politics
Tripoli - The internationally-recognized Libyan government, the House of Representatives (HoR) met again today to approve the Libya Political Agreement(LPA) and the associated Government of National Accord (GNA) but failed to achieve a quorum.
This is now four times that the HoR has met and failed to obtain a quorum. Apparently, they met yesterday as well and did not get a quorum. Of course no one bothered to report on it. Kobler least of all will do so. At least the Libya Herald has finally reported the failure. The HoR majority members who are in support of the Skhirat agreement are expressing frustration at the failure to achieve a quorum.They are now considering holding an HoR meeting in an alternative neutral city such as Ghadames in order to enable HoR boycotting members to attend and complete a quorum in order to vote on Skhirat.This meeting would bypass the Ageela Salah dissenting minority and be led by HoR deputy president Shoab.
The Libya Herald just reported Salah has joined those supporting the LPA and GNA and in a recent article say this is confirmed by Martin Kobler: UN SGSR and UNSMIL head Martin Kobler confirmed yesterday that House of Representative (HoR) president Ageela Salah has indeed now had a change of stance and has come on board in support of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and Government of National Accord (GNA) signed in Morocco’s Skhirat on 17th December and backed by UNSC Resolution 2259 on 23rd December 2015. If the head of the dissenting minority is now with the majority and Kobler reports others coming on board in the east, why cannot a quorum be obtained? Ghadames is in the far west border of Libya in the middle of the desert. Haftar would probably stop the members from flying there as he has twice stopped his own prime minister Al-Thinni from flying out of Libya. How are all the members going to get there when they cannot apparently get to Tobruk? Surely someone is making sure there is no quorum and no vote. It could be Haftar. Perhaps, the members think that they would be safe to vote as they wished in Ghadames.
There will likely be no vote until Haftar gets an iron-clad assurance that he will be head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the Government of National Accord. As the agreement is now, senior members of the GNA take on the function of commander in chief of the LNA. Haftar supporters at the GNA meeting recently in Tunis tried to ensure this but it failed. The next statement in the Herald is highly misleading if my interpretation of the agreement is correct: It must be recalled that according to the terms of the Skhirat agreement, the Serraj-led GNA will takeover all sovereign functions – irrespective of whether the HoR or GNC vote on it or not. Before the GNA comes into being and its term begins it must obtain a vote of confidence of the HoR. Only on this approval will the GNA take over all sovereign functions and its term begin. Article 1 section 4 of the LPA says:The term of the Government of National Accord shall be one year as of the date of granting it a vote of confidence by the House of Representatives. Of course the only copy of the LPA I can find online is from July 2. The UN has failed to post the text of the LPA as signed at Skhirat on December 17th. I have noted this numerous times but reporters apparently have no interest in seeing an up-to-date text of a historic agreement easily available online. The UN did post the text of the UN Security Council Resolution supporting the LPA. The Herald notes that as of January 26 sovereign positions such as the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya and Libyan National Commander in Chief will default to the GNA. Here is what the July 2 text says: Article (15)
1. The House of Representatives shall consult with the State Council in order to reach
consensus within thirty (30) days of the adoption of this agreement, to agree on the
following sovereign leading positions:
a. Governor of the Central Bank of Libya
b. Head of the Audit Bureau
c. Head of the Administrative Oversight Authority
d. Head of the Anti-corruption Authority
e. Head and members of the High National Electoral Commission
f. Head of the Supreme Court.
g. The Public Prosecutor.
The Herald gives no links to check out what they say is the case in the text itself. Perhaps they could the general public a great service by publishing an English version of the Skhirat text if they have it. The existing text says nothing about the positions defaulting to the GNA. Maybe they do but let's see the proof in the document text.
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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