Friday, March 18, 2016

Libyan GNA to move to Tripoli without a vote of confidence from the HoR

Before the GNA begins its term it must receive a vote of confidence from Tobruk's internationally recognized House of Representatives (HOR). Even though it has not received the vote, the GNA is intending to move to Tripoli and begin operations there.

The HoR met several times to have a vote on the GNA. Each time there was either no quorum or the session was disrupted with no votes. In response, the UN appears to be planning to avoid a vote in the HoR. The first time the UN did this resulted in the present Skhirat agreement.
The Libyan Dialogue was originally intended to reach a political agreement on a unity government between the two rival governments, the HoR and the General National Congress (GNC) located in Tripoli in the west. After a year, there was a draft of a Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) reached by then-Special Envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon. Leon was unable to get this draft passed through either parliament. When Martin Kobler took over as Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Libya, he said the dialogue was over and insisted the two parliaments pass the LPA as it was. He claimed it could not be amended, though he later changed it himself to add members to the Presidency Council.
When Kobler also failed to have the LPA passed by either parliament, he decided to avoid altogether having the two parliaments' approval, even though all along this was the stated aim. Instead, he called together members of the Libya Dialogue who supported the LPA and had them sign it on December 17th in Skhirat, Morocco. The international community wants one government which they approve so that they can then get the GNA to ask them to intervene military in Libya. The Skhirat LPA was applauded by most everyone, even though it had nothing to do with the original aim of the Dialogue. It was what important powers wanted. However, there was a huge stumbling block. The LPA requires that the HoR give a vote of confidence in the GNA. This never happened. The solution to this is to again avoid a vote in the HoR if that is necessary and simply continue on as if the GNA had been approved and up and running. There is no reconsideration of a policy that ignores the original intent of the dialogue and the conditions of even the Skhirat agreement. There is no dialogue. The Political Dialogue has become an instrument for helping the UN fulfill its plans. The statement says: Members of the Libyan Political Dialogue concluded today the first day of deliberations in the Tunisian capital with a reaffirmation of their commitment to uphold the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Skhirat on 17 December 2015 as the only and legitimate framework for bringing an end to the political crisis and military conflict in Libya.
The statement gives lip service to the requirement that the HoR give a vote of confidence in the GNA but does not say explicitly that it is required and even suggest that a letter signed by what they claim is a majority of the HoR supporting the GNA convinces them that the GNA is in effect approved. Originally, the letter was supposedly signed by 100 members but at least three have come forth who denied they signed. The statement conveniently ignores this by not citing a number at all: While the members of the Political Dialogue stress that granting a vote of confidence to the Government of National Accord is an inherent competence of the House of Representatives, and with all due respect to opinions of Parliament members about the Government of National Accord, they valued the statement of 23 February by the majority of members of the House of Representatives in which they expressed approval of the formation of the Government of National Accord.
Members of the Political Dialogue called on the House of Representatives concerning the importance of complete(sic) these steps and to continue upholding its responsibilities with respect to the implementation of all relevant provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement.
In spite of all this verbal maneuvering the fact is that the GNA's term has not yet begun. Nevertheless, the next sections say that the Presidency Council of the GNA should take whatever steps are necessary to have the GNA start working out of Tripoli.
One might wonder why on earth the UN would want the GNA to work out of Tripoli, given the precarious security situation. Some militia groups have threatened the security personnel who are to make arrangements in Tripoli. Three UN personnel were already arrested as Kobler has complained. He thought this important enough to issue a news release about it. The statement reveals why this is so important: All public bodies, including official financial institutions, should put in place the necessary arrangements for an immediate and orderly and peaceful handover of power in accordance with the provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement.
The UN wants the GNA to control the Central Bank and the National Oil Company in order to starve the rival governments of revenue and have funds to finance itself. It will also no doubt ask a UK court to release to it the billions in frozen Libyan funds. These can be used to buy off opposition. The statement also stresses the need to safeguard the institutions emanating from the LPA including the State Council and the HoR.
The HoR is not even safe apparently in its own territory of Tobruk. What makes the UN think that a UN resolution will make the HoR any safer in Tripoli? The State Council is an advisory body composed of members from the GNC. The GNC did not approve the agreement and does not recognize the State Council. Makhzoum who suggested the names for the council has been turfed out of the GNC and some of the members of the Council as well. The GNC is supposed to appoint them. It does not matter, since this does not help advance UN plans.
The UN may again consider using threats of sanctions as way of forcing parties to agree to the GNA. France is already using this threat:France wants EU sanctions imposed on Agilah Saleh of the HoR, Nuri Abusahmain of the GNC & #Tripoli Gov PM al-Ghwell. #Libya
The UN has tried using the threat before only to have sanctions vetoed in the UN Security Council. However, the EU could perhaps pass sanctions. However, the EU already listed Khalifa Haftar commander in chief of the Libyan Armed Forces to be sanctioned. Nothing happened and Haftar claimed the threat was meaningless. Sometimes, Haftar is right. Haftar's name has not come up yet this time. Isn't a bit strange to sanction Saleh who will be the head of the GNA's legislative assembly the HoR.


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