Politics

HoR accuses UN envoy of being ‘biased’ to Sarraj, condoning militias in Tripoli

Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aguila Saleh accused UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame of being “biased” to the Presidency Council led by Faiez Sarraj.

“The UN envoy should support Libya, not rule it,” Saleh said told Al Ain news website in a Monday report.

Since its arrival in Tripoli in March 2016, the Government of the National Accord (GNA) has relied on militia groups to provide security for the capital.

Instead, these militias have battled each other to control the capital, instigating several clashes that have shattered Tripoli.

Saleh claimed that Salame condones the deployment of militias in Tripoli and Sarraj’s support for them.

He added that Sarraj is “responsible for the violence” that Tripoli has repeatedly witnessed owing to his backing of the militias and accepting them into security institutions.

The HoR also seeks to restructure the Presidency Council (PC), whose chairman is Sarraj, but the High State Council (HSC) opposes the decision, he complained.

As for the National Conference set to be held in the upcoming period to prepare for the elections, Saleh said he will not attend it unless he reads its agenda. He explained that leaked information on the conference “proves its failure.”

He criticized the conference’s plan to “carry out the mission of the HoR” to pave the way for the elections, labeling the attempt as “a coup against legitimacy.”

Nevertheless, if the the conference held the referendum on the draft constitution but it failed, the possible solution to resolve the Libyan crisis would be to elect an interim president, he suggested.

Since the summer of 2014, political power has been split between two rival governments in Tripoli and in Tobruk.

The PC was born on 30 March 2016 after the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in December 2015. According to this agreement, the PC presides over the Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli, and should be endorsed by the Tobruk-based HoR.

The PC rival government is based in Tobruk and Bayda, which were also supposed to work under the LPA. HoR would become the legitimate legislative authority under the LPA but it has so far failed to pass a valid constitutional amendment.

Instead, the HoR endorsed the rival government of Abdullah al-Thinni, which operates from the eastern Libyan city of Bayda. The Tobruk and Bayda authorities have been aligned with Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Haftar is recognised as the general commander of the armed forces by the HoR in eastern Libya.

The Tobruk centre of power has also established its own Central Bank and its own National Oil Corporation, but they are not recognised in international markets.

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