By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 24 September 2016:
Two political parties headed by Mahmoud Jibril and Abdul-Hakim Belhaj have rounded on the State Council and joined UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler in condemning its attempt to usurp the powers of the House of Representatives.
on Wednesday the State Council announced that the HoR no longer existed and that it was taking over full legislative powers.
Jibril’s National Forces Alliance and Belhaj’s Al-Watan party have both criticised the move by the State Council presided over by Abdulrahman Sewehli. The NFA said that the action was a clear violation of the Libyan Political Agreement which, it added, “we have never considered as a way out of the crisis, but entertained the hope to end the Libyan bloodshed”.
The NFA said that it took the view that State Council’s move indicated that the Dialogue in its current form was beginning to lose its usefulness. It proposed instead that talks be started with “the real actors” to find realistic solution to the major problems that were hindering the establishment of proper state foundations. It said that Jibril had been in contact with Kobler to press him to take action.
It added that the NFA considered the State Council, with its purely consultative role, to be ‘unborn and illegitimate’ until the House of Representatives had amended the Constitutional Declaration to incorporate the Libyan Political Agreement.
Belhaj’s also Al-Watan party meanwhile backed Kobler’ condemnation of the move by Sewehli and the State Council. However it also noted that it was ten months since the Libyan Political Agreement had been signed and the HoR had still not held a vote on it.
Justice and Construction party leader Mohamed Sawan was less specific in his criticism of the State Council. He argued that all those opposed to the LPA were incapable of offering any alternative. “ This leaves the country open to the unknown, to chaos and wars”.
It was he said, the responsibility of everyone, particularly the HoR, to shoulder their responsibilities and make the LPA work.