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article imageOp-Ed: New GNA appears to be winning in Tripoli against GNC

By Ken Hanly     Apr 1, 2016 in Politics
Tripoli - Members of the Presidential Council from the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) led by PM Faiez Serraj recently arrived in a naval base adjacent to Tripoli.
While at first there were threats to arrest the group from the rival General National Congress (GNC) and there were a few clashes during the first day, things have quieted down and the GNC appears to be in no position to launch any significant opposition to the GNA. While the description of what happened described in a recent Digital Journal article may not be accurate, the GNC might as well have vanished. The GNA has been able to meet with a number of local officials and 10 cities in the west of Libya have come out in support of the UN-brokered government. There are photos appearing of members of the GNA moving around Tripoli. Here is one tweet:
There is a photo underneath of members of the PC at a cafe in central Tripoli. There have also been demonstrations in support of the GNA in Tripoli. The PC has also met with the chair of the Central Bank. The GNA wants to gain control of it and other institutions and block off funds to the GNC. The chair of the bank appears to be cooperating with the GNA.
In a statement on Thursday, PM of the GNC Khalifa Al-Ghawell said he was not interested in power and he will abide by any GNC decision on the GNA. However, there appears to be no official statement yet from the GNC. Al-Ghawell said: "My rejection to the so-called Presidency Council will be in a peaceful and legal manner without any use of force." He said rumors of his departure and handing over power to the GNA were baseless. However, there is not a word about arresting members of the GNA or taking any actions that would block the GNA from taking power. He is under sanction now by the EU. Perhaps they will be lifted for good behavior.
The president of the GNC, Nuri Sahmain, also made a statement. He described the arrival of the GNA in Tripoli as an "illegitimate coup" yet said he still supported the Libyan Political Dialogue. This is rather senseless since there has been no dialogue since Kobler took over and said that there would be no more amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement. Of course he then went ahead and amended it. Sahmain ignores the fact that the GNA is simply using its power to bribe, support of the big powers, and the UN security power to create its own legitimacy. Once it gains control of the Central Bank, the GNC will have no means of financing itself. Sahmain however still thinks the GNA needs more national agreement before it begins operation: He said that there remained “disputed issues” in the Skirhat Libyan Political Agreement which would have to be resolved before the Government of National Accord under Faiez Serraj would have any authority. He said that there needed to be more national agreement before the GNA could start to operate. Apparently the statement was on behalf of the GNC as well. It ended by calling for self-control by all sides and avoidance of bloodshed. No talk of arrests of the presidency council members from the GNA. Sahmain is also sanctioned by the EU.
Kobler, Faiez, and international supporters are busy cheering and posting photos of the GNA crew in Tripoli. However, there is no news of what is happening in Tobruk and in the HoR. There is complete silence from Khalifa Haftar. Will the HoR meet Monday to vote on the GNA and amend the constitutional declaration of 2011? What happened to the two sections 8 of the LPA which took away Haftar's job? Are they "frozen"?
Imhamed Shouaib, the deputy president of the HoR had some revealing comments after arguing that the LPA should not be re-opened or amended: ".. he stressed that at times measures must be taken that are not strictly democratic. This is forced upon us by the situation that Libya finds itself in, he explained. He explained that the national interest of the country had to be balanced politically with strict legalistic or democratic practices. " Surely the UN, the GNA, or the international community would not do anything illegal.
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 GNC government libya, Libyan Government of National Accord, faiez serraj
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