UN-brokered Government of National Acoord lacks a legislature

The UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) has managed to claim it is up and running and its Presidential Council has moved to a Tripoli naval base.

The GNA has also established the main advisory body, the State Council, by holding a meeting of General National Congress (GNC) members who supported the GNA who had been listed by Salah Makhzoum as members of the Council and recognized as such by the UN and GNA Presidency Council. The meeting started out supposedly as a meeting of the GNC, which then voted to approve the GNA and amend the constitutional declaration of 2011 to include the GNA. It then dissolved itself and became the State Council and went on about its business. Critics claim the process was not legitimate.
A number of ministries formerly under the GNC Salvation Government are now run by the GNA. The Tripoli-based National Oil Company and Central Bank are also allying with the GNA. However, the legislature of the GNA is the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) which so far has not approved the GNA nor passed the amendment to the 2011 constitutional declaration as required by the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed on December 17. The Emperor may have no clothes but the GNA has no legislature.
There have been numerous meetings of the HoR to approve the GNA but all have been either without a quorum or have been disrupted with the result that no formal vote has ever been taken approving the GNA. This has not stopped the GNA from declaring itself operative because a letter allegedly signed by a majority of the HoR approved the GNA at least in principle. The GNA also claims it was give a green light to move to Tripoli by members of the Political Dialogue group that signed the LPA. However, the GNA must have realized it still had no legislature and that it needed to bring the HoR on board — or continue to face an alternative government backed by probably the most formidable military forces in Libya under Commander-in-Chief Khalifa Haftar.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Martin Kobler has been trying to find some device for avoiding a vote in the full HoR and simply holding a meeting outside of Tobruk that will be attended by members of the HoR who approve the GNA at least in principle. Near the end of Aprilsome members of the HoR went to the western Libya desert town of Ghadames to prepare for such a meeting. There were no follow up reports and the meeting never took place.
On May 9 some members of the HoR met with members of the GNA and presented them with a new initiative meant to solve the issue. The two deputy speakers of the HoR, Shouaib and Homa, called GNA Prime Minister Faiez Serraj to deal with the proposal "with all seriousness and with a high spirit of patriotic responsibility." There was absolutely no information about the content of the initiative. There has been no report since of any response from the PM.
Apparently the two deputy speakers have continued to urge Ageelah Salah, the speaker and head of the HoR, to change his position and allow a vote to go forward to vote on the GNA. Salah is under sanctions by both the EU and now the U.S. but its only result seems to have been to entrench him in his position. But hope springs eternal as a recent tweet puts it: #Libya HoR presidency trying to make progress after meeting between Agilah & his two deputies in Bayda, Hopes for session on Monday #Tripoli.
Even if there is finally a vote on the GNA those who approve the GNA in principle also demand that Haftar keep his position as commander in chief of the Libyan National Army. If Kobler agrees to this, the GNA that he has been so eager to strengthen will likely rebel as there are many in the State Council and even in the Presidential Council who are adamantly opposed to Haftar keeping that position. In the recent demand for a unified command the Presidential Council finally took note that under the LPA it was now commander in chief. If it now allowed Haftar to remain in his job many members of the GNA would revolt.


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