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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Libyan GNA Presidency Council may be reduced from 9 back to 3

The Libya Observer reports that the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) may have a reduced number in the Presidency Council when it comes up at the next vote of confidence by the internationally recognized House or Representatives (HoR).

The Libya Observer reports that during a meeting in Cairo, Ageela Saleh, president of the HoR and prime minister-designate of the Government of National Accord, agreed to amend the constitutional declaration to include the GNA and afterwards discuss approval of the GNA and Presidency Council. The Council now has nine ministers but would be reduced back to three as in the original declaration signed back on December 17. The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Martin Kobler has often said the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) cannot be amended but the number in the Presidency Council appears to be an exception.
The paper also quoted a supposedly well-informed source as saying: "They also agreed to form a new cabinet which can be larger than the previous one in order to please most of the social actors." The meeting was said to be sponsored by the Egyptian government and was monitored by Martin Kobler. There are often meetings of key players in having the GNA approved with Egyptian officials. As well as Kobler, Saleh and Serraj, General Khalifa Haftar, head of the armed forces of HoR government the Libyan National Army (LNA), has also met with Egyptian officials.
The next meeting of the HoR could be as early as Monday but no specific date for a meeting has yet been mentioned by the Libya Observer, a paper that generally supports the rival Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) nor its rival the Libya Herald which generally supports the UN GNA. The Libya Herald has not yet mentioned the changes to the GNA mentioned in the Observer. Kobler has issued a news release urging the HoR to formalize a statement by 100 members of the HoR approving the GNA. However, the UN has said nothing about the date of a next meeting or even if the formalization is in effect a vote of confidence in the GNA as required by the LPA.
The Libya Herald reported that Mohamed Sawan, who heads the Justice and Construction Party (J&C) fully supports the GNA. The J&C is associated with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. He made the statement in a meeting with US Ambassador Bodde. Bodde expressed U.S. concern about the growth of the Islamic State in Libya. The head of the J&C in the GNC, Nizar Kawan, was also at the meeting. While the party supports the GNA some members apparently do not. Sawan also claimed the views of the 100 members of the HoR who signed a statement supporting the GNA reflected the views of a wider majority. We should know by tomorrow what will happen next if anything.


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