By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis/Tobruk, 9 October 2017:
Over a hundred members of the House of Representatives (HoR) joined in a delayed session today in Tobruk to discuss the amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement agreed last month in Tunis by the dialogue committees of both the HoR and the State Council (SC) . They included some 30 pro-Presidency Council (PC) members who flew in from Tripoli last night, many of whom have not taken in HoR sessions for some time.
For a while, however, it seemed that the session would not take place as local municipal council and HoR employees blockaded access to the parliament demanding payment of back salaries. The issue was eventually resolved in negotiations between the protestors and representatives of HoR president Ageela Saleh. It allowed the session to begin in the late afternoon, but not before threats that the HoR would simply meet elsewhere – an unprecedented threat because Saleh has until now steadfastly refused all suggestions that the parliament convene elsewhere.
At the session, the dialogue and the amendments to the LPA were the only issues under discussion.
So far, there has been agreement between the HoR and SC teams to reduce the Presidency Council from nine members to three and for there to be a separate prime minister and cabinet.
Discussions will continue tomorrow at which the methodology of appointing a new government and PC will figure along with the LPA’s contentious supplementary article No. 8 on the appointment and role of the supreme commander of the armed forces and the demands that the State Council have 200 members rather than the current 138 or the LPA’s stipulation that it have 145.
It is anticipated that other HoR members will attend the second session on Tuesday.
A second round of negotiations on the outstanding LPA articles in contention is to begin in Tunis on Saturday, UN special representative Ghassan Salamé has announced.