Saturday, February 27, 2016

One hundred HoR members sign statement supporting GNA

The first official reports from yesterday's meetings claimed the meeting had to be adjourned because there was not a quorum to vote.

The official story is represented by an AFP report:
 Libya's internationally recognised parliament was unable to hold a vote of confidence in the UN-backed unity government Tuesday because it lacked a quorum, amid concerns over increasing jihadist expansion.
Later, we have a good guys, bad guys narrative in which ten Cyrenaicans/ Federalists, the bad guys, stopped the good guys, who approved the GNA from voting. This view is pushed in the Libya Herald by Sam Zaptia, citing several members of the HoR. According to this view, there was a quorum but the bad guys prevented a vote. Apparently, the HoR has no security able to prevent the mighty 10 bad guys from doing their dastardly deeds and blocking the powerless good majority from voting. One hundred members are said to favor the GNA but are completely overpowered by the mighty 10 spoilers who want to stop them. Such is the power of evil.
However, the good guys are fighting back, as Sam Zaptia reports in the Libya Herald that the member from Misrata, Mohameed Raied said of the bad guys:‘This group continued in its insistence on preventing the session taking place by force forcing about a hundred member into expressing their views through the signing of a list (attached) granting confidence in the (GNA) government’’.
This narrative is picked up by other media such as the Middle East Eye which notes that 100 of the HoR 176 members signed a petition saying that they were "forcibly prevented" from voting after receiving threats. The Middle East Eye continues to repeat the earlier narrative about their being no quorum: The parliament, located in the eastern town of Tobruk, was unable to hold the vote on Tuesday for the new government line-up because it lacked a quorum.The 100 lawmakers want to find an appropriate place for a new parliament session because it has become impossible to hold one in Tobruk.
The HoR will be the legislature of the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA), according to the terms of the LPA. Security cannot be provided for an HoR session in Tobruk where the Libyan National Army holds sway. Once the GNA has a vote of approval, Martin Kobler and the prime minister-designate, Faiez Serraj, insist that the GNA move to Tripoli that is controlled by the rival General National Congress (GNC) government and its associated militia the Libya Dawn, both of which oppose the GNA. How do they expect to hold sessions there when they cannot even hold sessions in their home territory?
Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) who seems to suffer from a severe case of moral diarrhea in his rhetoric, issued his standard plea to help him get the GNA up and running. He also gives his usual moral lecture:"I am concerned about many reports of intimidation and threats against HoR members. This is unacceptable. Parliamentarians have to decide freely. The HoR leadership has the responsibility to ensure that the parliamentary process is unhindered and conducted in an environment free from threats or intimidation, according to democratic principles," said the UN Envoy for Libya.No mention in his press release of Khalifa Haftar nor of Section 8 of the LPA. Someone should ask him whatever happened to the EU sanctions that were supposed to be imposed upon Khaifa Haftar by the EU or why French Commandos now appear to be working with Haftar forces in Benghazi. Although Kobler and Faiez Serraj have met with Haftar, Kobler usually does not mention his name even though he is the key in much that is going on at present.
In his press release, Kobler "Calls on the leadership of the House of Representatives to formalize the declaration of the majority of its members approving the Government of National Accord." This is simply weird. What is it supposed to mean? Why does he not tell the HoR to do as the LPA demands move a vote of confidence in the HoR? At the end of his paean of praise for those who signed the document he says that the leadership of the HoR should take steps to formalize this endorsement. Is this just some roundabout way of demanding a vote or is it actually intended to describe some other process of formalization? Maybe Kobler can do as he did earlier when he bypassed the LPA being approved by either parliament. He just gathered together all those who favored the GNA and had them sign the LPA at Skhirat on December 17th last year. Perhaps now he will simply gather together all those who want to approve the GNA and have them formally sign something. He can designate someone from the HoR to be the chief signer for the HoR even though the person has no authorization from the HoR. There is always a way around these difficulties faced by the GNA because international cheerleaders will immediately applaud and the UN can pass a resolution of praise and support even though the process of getting the GNA approved might violate the LPA. However, maybe Kobler will develop some other plan. So far it seems he lacks a plan.


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