By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis/Tripoli, 10 September 2015:
Delegates to the Libya Dialogue have again gathered in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat for . . .[restrict]what UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon has said should be the final round. It is expected to produce a new prime minister and two deputy prime ministers. Describing it as a “moment of truth”, he said that a deadline of 20 September would not be extended.
A selection of 12 names for the posts of prime minister and one of the deputies have already been sent to him by the House of Representatives (HoR). Suggestions for the other deputy premier are believed to have been brought by the team from the General National Congress (GNC) which flew from Tripoli this evening.
With yet more news of killings and the growth of the Islamic State, a deal had to be made, Leon said. All Libyans, as well as the international community, wanted one he stressed. It was hoped that there would be final agreement on the annexes by the end of tomorrow, Friday, he added, and consideration of names for the premiership would start on Saturday.
In a bout of rival sabre rattling, both the HoR and GNC had previously issued threats of pulling out if a number of supposedly key demands were not met. Those of GNC (which, significantly, accepted that the HoR would be Libya’s parliament, ignoring all earlier insistence that the Supreme Court’s supposed ruling abolishing it had to be respected) were largely about increased powers for the State Council. However, there was also a demand, which Leon is certain to ignore, that all the Council’s 120 members come from the GNC (not 90 as in the Draft), that the GNC must decide who they should be (not the Dialogue negotiators), and that all current GNC members would be eligible (not those elected in July 2012, as stated in the Draft).
Responding to the demands, HoR president Ageela Saleh then sent a letter with five of his own to Leon, equally threatening to pull out if they were not met. They basically said that the prime minister and one of the deputy premiers had to come from the 12 names sent by the HoR; that only it (not the GNC) could approve the new Government of National Accord; not a word of the Draft Agreement could be changed; it alone agree to the annexes to the Draft before the GNA is announced; and no changes to laws, decisions and appointments already announced by the HoR.
Leon and most of the Dialogue members are likewise almost certain to ignore the last demand.