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article imageOp-Ed: Vote on new GNA delayed for one week by Libyan HoR

By Ken Hanly     Feb 16, 2016 in Politics
Tobruk - Even though the new Libyan Government of National Accord was announced on Sunday and the internationally-recognized House of Representatives met at least briefly on Tuesday, the vote of confidence is postponed for a week.
The new GNA with 13 ministries plus five state ministers was announced late on Sunday. The list did not reach the HoR in time to vote Monday but it appears they met on Tuesday. However a recent report from the Libya Herald claims the vote is now postponed for a week. It appears the result would not be what the UN and the international community want. The postponement is explained by the Herald as follows: The House of Representatives has agreed to a request by prime minister-designate Faiez Serraj to delay discussing his new list of ministers for another week. He asked for the delay after two of the ministers who had been chosen withdrew their nominations. Imagine, people were named ministers without getting their approval first. This is par for the course in a process full of irregularities missed deadlines and deliberately ignoring terms of the Libyan Political Agreement(LPA). The new deadline for approval of the GNA has now passed but of course no one cares. What is important is that the new GNA somehow gets up and running so it can legitimize foreign military intervention in Libya. Yet there is another week's delay at least before this can even begin.
The week's extension had conditions including that Serraj turn up next Saturday in Tobruk with an amended list together with CVs of the ministers and his agenda for the government so that the GNA can be voted on next Tuesday. Does this mean that the list came with no CV's before and with no government agenda? The latter is a requirement of the LPA. The HoR also said that if the deadline were not met that the HoR would reject the GNA and the Presidency Council.
Some sources in the HoR also said that the group has reservations about some of the ministers, especially Mohamed Siaia who was chosen as foreign minister. Critics claim he continued to support the Gadaffi regime long after the start of the revolution. The members of the GNA from the General National Congress (GNC) government should have been even more reluctant to accept Siaia but apparently agreed to him being chosen. Some are suggesting that when the list comes to a vote, the HoR is demanding that there be a separate vote on each minister rather than voting them all in as a group, as no doubt the UN and GNA would want.
Serraj is said to be in Cairo having talks with Egyptian officials. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Martin Kobler, is also said to be in Cairo to have talks with Egyptian officials. Kobler was all praise for the work of the GNA Presidency Council and congratulated them on the new list which he considered a major breakthrough and promised what he called a new beginning for Libya. He then called on the HoR to give a vote of confidence in the GNA. Kobler even said of the HoR that "it's now their responsibility to save their country from the scourge of further conflict and destruction. This is an historic opportunity for peace that should not be missed". This is typical of the vapid, optimistic, moralizing rhetoric completely divorced from reality that is characteristic not only of Kobler but of his predecessor Leon. Behind the scenes Kobler and Faiez are no doubt busy trying to buy off dissent and push through the GNA. Apparently Egypt and their president Sisi is key to developing events. Sisi is a strong supporter of Khalifa Haftar. Somehow the whole issue of Section 8 of the LPA which takes away Haftar's job from him has left the radar of the news media and everyone else who counts even though it is a crucial ingredient in this stew.
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, Martin Kobler
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