salame’s proposal deepens division among libyan parties
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
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Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
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Amid accusations to Qatar of supporting terrorism

Salame’s proposal deepens division among Libyan parties

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Salame’s proposal deepens division among Libyan parties

The State Council claims that the House of Representatives
Tripoli - Fatima Al Saadawy

The State Council claims that the House of Representatives (HoR) acceptanceon Tuesday of UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé’s proposed action plan is illegal. It says its stance is based on Article 12 of the Additional Provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) which states both the HoR and State Council must come to a consensus when considering amendments to the constitution.

As the HoR has now voted and accepted the Salamé proposals, the State Council feels it has effectively been bypassed. It said it was committed to upholding Article 12 and said UNSMIL should do too. The comments came in a statement published after a State Council meeting yesterday.

The State Council said it remained focused on drafting a referendum bill in partnership with the HoR in accordance with Article 23 of the LPA. This states the HoR, State Council and Government of National Accord will “commit themselves to the promotion of cooperation and coordination between them” and establish a joint committee to propose laws on the referendum and general elections.

In yesterday’s session, talks were held on the possibility of holding elections within six months under the supervision of a government. Proposals were referred to its legal committee. Meanwhile, Benghazi HoR member Issa Al-Oraibi accused State Council president Abdulrahmen Sewehli of being the obstacle in resolving the constitutional crisis.

Oraibi claimed Sewehli was upset because the proposals the HoR accepted diminished the role of the State Council president. Sewehli “is causing Libya to go to the abyss,” Oraibi stated.

In fact, despite the State Council’s claim that the HoR has acted illegally, the HoR did not vote to attach Salamé’s proposals to the Constitutional Declaration, thereby giving them the force of law. That would have gone against Artilce 12 of the LPA’s Additional Provisions. Nor was there a sufficient number of members present at the meeting to provide a quorum for such a move. The deputies present, variously put at 75 (by the HoR website) or 79 (by HoR deputies themselves) simply expressed their approval of the proposals. The Constitutional Declaration still has to be officially amended to take them on board.

However, at a session in Tobruk today, the House of Representatives voted to endorse the action plan to solve the current political crisis drawn up by UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé.

Under it, there would be a new presidency council consisting of three members, each representing of the country’s three historic provinces. It would nominate a prime minister for the HoR to approve, act as commander in chief of the Libya army, and be in charge of Libya’s foreign relations.

The unanimous vote by the 79 members present (including HoR president Ageela Salameh) effectively bypasses the gridlock in the talks to amend the Libyan Political Agreement between the dialogue committees of the HoR and the State Council.

The action plan approved has several articles including statements that the Presidency Council and the government shall be headquartered in Tripoli, that the three PC members will be elected by the HoR. They and members of the government must not have a second nationality or be married to a foreigner.

The plan has also kicked into touch the contentious supplementary article no.8 of the LPA which gave the PC the right to appoint and remove top military, security and civil officials, by setting it aside for future discussion. The session also discussed the refusal by Tobruk airport on Sunday to allow a plane carrying 29 HoR members from landing.

On the other hand, military spokesman for the Libyan National Army, under the command of General Khalifa Hafter, told Arab media that Qatari support for IS terrorists, especially financial support, had not stopped. He accused Doha of committing other crimes against the Libyan people, including transporting Islamic State militants from Syria and Iraq to Sudan and then on to Libya.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta also said this week at a conference organized by the Hudson Institute that Qatar has a history of supporting terrorism:

"Qatar, frankly, has had a mixed record," he said. "We know they've provided support — financial support — for the Muslim Brotherhood, for terrorism, for Hamas, for elements of al-Qaida, the Taliban."

Christopher Davidson, who teaches Middle East politics at Durham University in Durham, England, argued that Qatar was involved in the transport of weapons and fighters from Libya to Syria in 2012 and 2013. Now, he said, it is involved in the reverse flow as IS falls apart in Syria and Iraq.

"Its usefulness has significantly declined in that theater of operations, and the weapons and presumably the men — at least the foreign fighters — are being moved to where they're needed most," he said. "And I believe that one of those locations at the moment is the Libyan conflict

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salame’s proposal deepens division among libyan parties salame’s proposal deepens division among libyan parties



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