Tangier Consultations Achieve Consensus to Restore the Spirit of Libyan Parliament, Away from Divisions

https://i.alarab.co.uk/styles/article_image_800x450_scale/s3/2020-11/lib_8.jpg?SDLmt8Het2vgj4rxjHYiLTPEygjOkhdi&itok=fuJ90AEFThe atmosphere of optimism that prevailed in the consultative meetings between the Libyan parliamentarians in the Moroccan city of Tangiers provided a strong political dose of oxygen to revive and activate the role of the Libyan Parliament, at a time when the Tunis Forum for Libyan Political Dialogue in its virtual sessions collided with obstacles that prevented choosing who will take over The highest executive positions in the country.

The news from Tangiers indicates that the Libyan parliamentarians participating in the consultative meetings, whose work is expected to end on Saturday, have agreed on a package of understandings that will restore the spirit of Parliament so that it performs its full role away from ideological division, regional fragmentation and political convergence.

“Understanding and consensus prevail in these meetings amid consensus on the need to dispel all differences to overcome the obstacles that prevent the unification of parliament and end the state of division,” said Libyan MP Jibril Ouhaida, in a phone call with Al Arab from Tangiers, where he participates in the consultative meetings.

And he considered that what was reached during these meetings is much deeper than a mere “dose of oxygen” to break the stalemate, because the draft final statement, which is expected to be issued on Saturday, will confirm an end to the political division and unify institutions, in a way that reorganizes and arranges priorities to meet the requirements of the next stage, through consensus and away from conquest.

He said, “The representatives participating in these meetings will move to the Libyan city of Ghadames on Monday, to hold a general parliamentary session in the presence of the majority of parliament members, in order to implement what was reached in the Tangiers meetings and the 13 + 13 parliamentary committee that will meet on Sunday in Morocco.”

The Tangiers meetings, which started last Tuesday, have been extended to Saturday, to continue consultations at the level of the four committees that were formed earlier, including the drafting committee, another to amend the internal regulations, and a third to formulate understandings to prepare for the next phase.

Gabriel Waheeda revealed to Al Arab that the final draft of the statement includes an agreement that the city of Benghazi will be the constitutional seat of Parliament, and will confirm the date for the general elections on the twenty-fourth of December 2021, which was approved during the first round of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum held in Tunis, under the auspices of the United Nations.

He pointed out that the draft final statement also stipulates the importance of parliament restoring its constitutional and oversight role, rejecting all attempts to marginalize its role, and foreign or domestic plans aimed at imposing an alternative body for it under various headings, some of which have come to be described as “filling political vacuums”.

It seemed clear that this refusal was mainly directed at the Tunis Forum for Libyan Political Dialogue, which spread fears that the main goal of its holding in the presence of 75 Libyan personalities is to create an alternative body for Parliament to pass the entitlements of the next phase, the outlines of which were drawn by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya by announcing a path that includes choosing new executive powers and organizing general elections next year.

These concerns echoed among the majority of the Libyan parliament members in the east and west of the country, as some of them did not hesitate to direct accusations at the acting head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Stephanie Williams, for standing behind this, including Representative Muhammad al-Abani, who described what she was doing as a “flagrant violation of the will of the Libyans”.

He said that Williams is working to “install herself as the guardian of a country that is not under guardianship,” and stressed that Parliament “is the only legitimate authority elected by all Libyans, and can turn the tables on the UN support mission”, calling at the same time to stop what he called the “farce and rape of will”.

Al-Abani addressed a speech to his fellow parliamentarians, saying, “What are you waiting for when the support mission will replace you with unelected forces, with a group that does not care about anything other than continuing corruption and plundering public money? Your people, who chose you to be their representatives, urge you to put an end to what is happening, or announce the dissolution of the House of Representatives and go back to your place”.

The acute situation reflects the depth of the concerns of the members of the Libyan parliament elected in 2014, about the results of the Libyan Direct Political Dialogue Forum sponsored by the United Nations, which ended its second round that took place via video conference without reaching consensus on the mechanisms for selecting members of the unified executive authority to manage the pree-election primaries.

The draft final statement includes an agreement that Benghazi will be the constitutional seat of Parliament

Stephanie Williams’ warnings, in which she indicated that “the situation in Libya is still fragile and dangerous”,while reminding the participants in the dialogue forum of “the urgent need to move forward in the political process”, did not succeed in dispelling differences over mechanisms for selecting members of the executive authority.

These differences keep the general situation in Libya confused and many potential surprises could upend expectations and alter the balance of power, especially in this period when the pitfalls of the multiplicity of dialogue and deliberation platforms foreshadow a climate that demandss changes in positions that may open the gates to a new political scene with conflict equations other than those currently prevailing.

Al Arab

Translation by Internationalist 360°