By Al-munji al-Saaidani
Libyan political dialogue sessions have focused, for the third consecutive day, on the restructuring of the High Presidential Council, the proposal to elect a president and two vice-presidents, and the future relation between the government of national accord and the council.
Political discussions, which are held in Tunis under the supervision of UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, have concealed an early dispute over who would occupy the Council’s presidency and who would be its members.
Among the proposals submitted on Thursday is that Fayez al-Sarraj, who currently heads the council, remains in office, provided that two of the council’s deputies – one from the east and the other from the southern part of the country – remain in the same institution.
The meetings kicked off earlier this week, gathering a delegation from the Libyan Parliament and another from the High Council of the State, in addition to representatives of other Libyan factions and tribal leaders.
Observers said that on Thursday, no direct dialogue was held between the Libyan factions, as several political parties addressed letters to the dialogue committees representing Parliament and the State Council, in order to present their stance on the main discussion issues and “set early conditions before moving to the upcoming phase of elections”.
In this context, Abdulrahman al-Suwaihli, head of the High Council of the State, called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya to “grant legislative powers to the Council of State, in equal share with the Parliament, in exchange for its approval to maintain Article 8 that specifies the powers of the commander of armed forces, as well as to retain the subjection of the army leadership to Parliament”.
The spokesman for the High Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities, Khaled Ramadan Abou Amid, issued a statement welcoming Salame’s initiative, and provided seven conditions for the full engagement in the UN roadmap, most important of which is the holding of intra-Libyan dialogue without any foreign interference.
Other conditions he cited included the unconditional release of all Libyan regime prisoners and the lifting of all security and legal restrictions and international criminal warrants against wanted persons.”
Last week, Salame outlined an action plan of three phases to resolve the crisis in the country, during a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
The three phases include the ongoing round of talks to amend the Skhirat Agreement, the holding of a national conference under the UN auspices and the organization of a referendum to adopt a new constitution, paving the way to general elections.
In a news conference on Thursday, the UN envoy to Libya said that the Libyan political agreement, known as the Skhirat Agreement, would be referred to Parliament, after the completion of its amendment.