Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: Senior official of Libyan Government of National Accord resigns

By Ken Hanly     Jan 18, 2016 in Politics
Tripoli - As the midnight deadline approaches for the announcement of the formation of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), a senior official has resigned.
Ali Al-Gatrani is one of the deputy prime ministers in the government of prime minister designate Faiez Serraj. His resignation is reported in the Libya Herald. The reasons for his resignation have not yet been made public.
Al-Gatrani had threatened to resign two weeks ago along with another deputy prime minister, Fathi Majbri. An official told the Herald then that the threats were simply a negotiating tactic. The Herald did not know whether Majbri also resigned. Even this one resignation will create problems for Serraj as he attempts to meet the deadline tonight. The Libyan Political Agreement required the announcement to have been made last Saturday but the Presidential Council unilaterally extended the time for formation of the GNA by 48 hours.
The Herald claims that the number of ministries in the GNA may be reduced. As of this morning (January 18) there were reported to be 11 ministries: Planning, finance, interior, local government and foreign affairs would be held by people from the west, defence, economy and industry, labour and social affairs by appointees from the east and education, health and justice run by southerners. Press inquiries to Serraj's team in Tunis have not been answered. Apparently, eastern region officials are demanding that Haftar remain as commander of the Libyan National Army. The LPA actually requires that his position be assumed by the GNA presidency council back on December 17, 2015, when the LPA was signed. This has never happened. The resignation of Ali Gitrani may be related to a perceived failure of the present LPA to guarantee the continuation of Haftar in his position.
On Sunday, Martin Kobler, the head of the UNSMIL visited Agila Salah in the eastern city of Shahat to gain support for the GNA and enable the GNA to announce its formation. Kobler claimed in a press conference after the meeting that Salah confirmed he still supported the LPA and GNA. Salah had a somewhat different narrative. Salah claimed that before the GNA could be recognized there must be a resolution amending the constitutional declaration. There is a provision requiring this in the LPA although it does not set out when the amendment should be passed.
On Alnabaa TV, Salah said: "As usual, he (Kobler) game to push for the national concord, but we told him that the constitutional declaration must be amended first by a majority of two-thirds of the parliament.We explained to him that this government was not given a vote of confidence. Its acts are meaningless." The reporting is from the Libya Observer which is pro-GNC and against the GNA and HoR. The Observer also claimed Salah said there must be a Libya-Libya dialogue and the GNC must be part of the solution. This story contradicts recent reports that Salah now supports the GNA. Certainly he has not been publicly involved in any aspects of the Libya-Libya dialogue lately. The Observer also claims it was Kobler, not the GNA Presidency Council, who had ordered the 48 hour extension of the deadline. We will know by early tomorrow if there is another extension before the GNA is announced.
UPDATE: The Libya Herald now reports that among the reasons that Al-Gatrani resigned was that he had been assured there would be no changes to the military with Haftar remaining in command of the LNA. Some ambassadors are suggesting that some members of the GNA may not have read the text of the LPA as released today. They no doubt read it but Kobler may have assured them that Hafter would stay and he did so to ensure they would join the GNA. Now he is suffering the consequences. Kobler has already let the GNA violate the LPA since December 17th by allowing Haftar to stay on the job. They have good reason to think he will do anything to ensure that the GNA comes into being.
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 Ali AlGitrani, faiez serraj, Libyan Government of National Accord
More news from