The announcement of the formation of the Libyan Government of National Accord(GNA) was made early this morning. The declaration was signed by only seven of the nine members of the Presidency Council, the senior officials of the GNA.
|Two members, Ali Gatrani, a designated deputy minister and Omar Al-Aswad, a Presidency Council minister, had earlier suspended their membership of the Council. According to the Libya Herald:|
They did so in support for General Khalifa Hafter, demanding that the Libyan Political Agreement clause that the Presidency Council take over as supreme commander of the armed forces be dropped and, reportedly in opposition to the appointment of Al-Mahdi Ibrahim Al-Barghathi as defence minister.CIA-linked General Haftar is the commander in chief of the Libyan National Army associated with the internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk and Bayda. Bayda has demanded that the HoR leave the city. Most of the government offices are there rather than in Tobruk.
The names were selected in collaboration with members of the House of Representatives negotiating on behalf of their towns and areas, not on the basis of competence for the job. This was done to try an ensure that the HoR now votes for the package. It has to do so within ten days, by 29 January.All of the HoR representatives who support the GNA will also be guaranteed jobs in the GNA as the HoR becomes the sole legislative body of the GNA. Nevertheless, Kobler will need to give some ironclad guarantee that Haftar remains in his position as commander of the LNA before he can hope to pass the GNA through the HoR, and many may also object to some of those named as part of the government.
Women lose out in Libya’s new order. Sarraj ignored Kobler’s request to have women form 30% of his cabinet by appointing only one, culture minister Asma Mustafa al-Usla.
“This is a sterling opportunity for Libyans to come together to build their country. The formation of the Government of National Accord (GNA) is one important leap on the path to peace and stability in Libya, I congratulate the Libyan people. Hard work lies ahead”.No doubt there will be numerous other cheerleaders joining in. Already Fredirica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, has joined the chorus and noted that EU foreign ministers had reaffirmed their readiness to support the GNA once it takes office. I am not sure if it is a misprint with the Herald putting "Hafter" for "Kobler" but the paper claims:
Said Hafter: “I call on the members of the HoR and its presidency to uphold the country’s national interest above all other considerations and promptly convene to discuss and endorse the proposed cabinet”.I would be surprised if Haftar said anything such as this as some of his supporters are resigning from the GNA because his status in the new GNA is not guaranteed. Indeed if the GNA had pain any attention to Article 8 he would have lost his job over a month ago.