By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 15 October 2015:
Uncertainty is growing . . .[restrict]as to whether the House of Representatives (HoR) or the General National Congress (GNC) will sign the Libya Dialogue agreement and endorse the names for the new leaders of the Government of National Accord (GNA) unveiled by UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon last week before the deadline of 20 October.
Both the HoR and the GNC have put off making any decisions about the GNA – in the case of the former until Monday, the day before the deadline.
A number of diplomats and officials involved in the process contacted by the Libya Herald have expressed concerns that either side would approve the deal in time, saying they were in the dark as to what would happen. “The HoR would certainly have rejected the deal if it had voted yesterday,” said one European diplomat, who nonetheless said he believed that by Monday, it might have changed it mind.
In the case of the GNC, the fear was that it would deliberately not make any decision in time.
Accusing each group of intransigence, one European ambassador said that the “lack of responsibility” by both towards the country as a whole by both was “amazing”.
However, the same ambassador said that Leon was currently “trying to appease all criticism” and was applying “damage control” following his controversial announcement of some 17 names which he suggested should be members of the new government.
With a significant number drawn from Misrata, the names have unleashed intense criticism of both Leon and the UN, with many critics complaining that Leon is biased towards Misrata, Libya Dawn and the Muslim Brotherhood but not the democratically-elected HoR.
There have also been accusations from both sides that Leon has been moving the goal posts by making changes to the draft agreement despite stating that no further changes were possible.
The latest amendments are said to relate to the role of Sharia, majority voting and guarantees of an amnesty for those involved in crimes since the start of the revolution. However, the UN Support Mission In Libya (UNSMIL) has said that it will not make public the latest changes to the draft.
The Libyan ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who is with the HoR, has accused Leon of sowing confusion with his proposals. He also said that the UNSMIL chief’s efforts to establish a balance between the HoR and GNC, when the latter was illegitimate, was wrong.
Leon had changed the dialogue agreement too often without letting the parties know, he complained.
For his part, the deputy GNC head, Awad Abdul Saddeq, who leads its Dialogue team, protested that Leon had yet again amended the final draft despite saying it could not be adjusted any more and “without prior coordination with both dialogue parties”.
Speaking yesterday, Wednesday, Abdul Saddeq reaffirmed the GNC demand that its amendments had to be incorporated in the draft if it was to be approved. These include accepting that the GNC is Libya’s legitimate parliament.
Leon has meanwhile sent letters to both Ageela Salah, the head of the HoR and Nuri Abu Sahmain, the head of the GNC in Tripoli, calling on each body to back his deal insisting yet again that the latest changes to the Draft were “final”. [/restrict]