By Libya Herald Reporter
Tunis, 10 August 2015:
The United Nations has delayed for a day the opening of its latest Libya Dialogue . . .[restrict]round of talks in Geneva to allow a delegation from the Tripoli-based rump General National Congress to attend.
The talks, originally scheduled to begin today (Monday) and last through Wednesday, will now open tomorrow to give a GNC delegation time to fly from Tripoli to Geneva.
Until the weekend the process was overshadowed by the refusal of the GNC to turn up, but that changed on Sunday when GNC members voted to send a delegation, subject to conditions.
The conditions are that UN Special Envoy Bernadino Leon agrees to re-open discussion on his draft plan for a Government of National Accord. Should he agree, however, there is the risk that the delegation from Libya’s recognised government, the House of Representatives (HoR), will walk out.
For now, the UN says that the talks will open on Tuesday with delegations from both bodies in attendance.
One possibility is that Geneva becomes in effect “proximity talks” with the GNC delegation refusing to participate formally, but agreeing to observe.
The GNC objects to what is effectively fifth draft, of the so-called Leon Plan, which makes the HoR the country’s legislature for a year, possibly two. The plan says members from the rump GNC will control a proposed State Council, but that it will have consultative powers only, with no influence over the HoR.
The GNC fears it will be sidelined in such an arrangement, and wants at least a return to the previous draft (no. 4), in which the State Council had significant powers.
The Geneva talks are billed by the UN as the forum for choosing a new prime minister and two deputies within the framework of the Draft which was approved last month by all the Dialogue delegates, apart from those from the GNC.
Leon will now need to make a decision about whether to press ahead with this, at the risk of the GNC taking no part, or revisit the Draft, and risk a walkout by the HoR. [/restrict]