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In Libya some Tobruk-based government members meet with GNA

The HoR members were from the south. The Presidential Council (PC) said the meeting was organized in a bid to find a mechanism that would achieve “a high level of national consensus” and a “means of enabling the HoR in its role as the legislative authority” of Libya. Presumably this means the legislative authority of the Government of National Accord (GNA), as required by the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). There is no mention of the necessity for an amendment to the constitutional declaration of 2011.

A new initiative was presented by members from the south, which according to the Liberal Herald is more neutral in the “east-west political tug-of war.” While the article says the initiative concerned a vote of confidence in the GNA by the HoR, there were no details of the initiative given. Note that this meeting was not attended by the president of the HoR, Ageelah Saleh. It appears another ruse to get around having the HoR as a whole vote on the GNA. might be in the works. The new initiative is supposed to deal with the political reservations on each side. Notice the complete lack of transparency as to any details as to what is being suggested. I would not be surprised if it involves a violation of the Libyan Political Agreement. At the end of the meeting, Shouaib and Homa called on PC PM Faiez Serraj to deal with the proposal “with all seriousness and with a high spirit of patriotic responsibility.”

The Libya Herald notes: The meeting shows a number of interesting things. Firstly, that the PC still recognizes the sole, legitimate, legislative authority of the HoR in Libya, despite the fact that in Tripoli it has started to act as a legitimate authority prior to its GNA being approved by the HoR.

The article claims that there have been contradictory statements from different HoR members about the HoR holding a meeting in the desert city of Ghadames on the western border of Libya. Fraj Abuhashim, official spokesperson for the HoR said “the organization continues for a HoR session to vote on GNA in Ghadames.” However, Ageela Salah, HoR president and speaker said that the HoR could only meet in Tobruk and under his leadership. I wrote an article a while back on the issue. Kobler obviously wanted those members of the HoR ready to vote confidence in the GNA to meet in Ghadames. The meeting was to take place last Wednesday. Nothing but silence on the issue by Kobler. The opinions of the president of the HoR and the spokesperson for the HoR now contradict one another.

The Herald puts the split between the two camps in the east as follows: The pro HoR political forces in the east are split into at least two camps. On the one hand they support a PC/GNA in principle, but insist on it being protected by an independent-of-militias and so called ‘’Islamists” army in Tripoli. The pro Hafter and Federalists in the east insist on Hafter leading any Libyan National Army. To this end, the Hafter camp object to article 8 of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and will not allow a vote to go ahead in the HoR approving the GNA prior to article 8 being dropped. However, those who accept the GNA in principle also demand that section 8 be dropped.

As the Herald notes, the State Council consisting of former members of the General National Congress are anxious to set up a new unified command without Haftar. In what is very much an understatement, the Herald sums up the problem with any new initiative:” It will be interesting to see how the new HoR initiative will square these, what seem, fundamentally mutually exclusive demands.” If Haftar remains, then the GNA may fall apart with many members of the State Council and some from the Presidential Council leaving but if he does not remain the eastern part of Libya is likely to rebel and break off.

Meanwhile, the president of the HoR,. Ageela Salah, has lashed out at the Presidential Council(PC) for setting up a unified Operations Chamber claiming it can do so under the Libya Political Agreement that gives it the power of commander in chief. Salah claims the PC lacks that power since the HoR has not yet approved the GNA.

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