Country Report Libya
- ID: 2101513
- February 2016
- Region: Libya
- 25 Pages
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
In late January the House of Representatives (HoR, the internationally recognised parliament in the eastern city of Tobruq) voted 89 to 15 against endorsing the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The HoR has given the new prime minister-designate, Fayez al-Serraj, ten days to submit a new cabinet list.
Although HoR representatives were a key part of UN-backed negotiations in Morocco, the mood back in Tobruq has always been more sceptical. HoR members have pointed to two primary reasons for the no vote. First, the large size of the cabinet-32 ministers, plus deputies-would prove costly and hard to manage. The reason for the size of the cabinet was to ensure representation for each of Libya's regions and tribes. Mr Serraj may therefore choose to proceed on a more technocratic basis for his second attempt at forming the GNA.
The second-and perhaps more important-reason for the no vote is the debate that concerns the role of the HoR-allied General Khalifa Haftar, the head of the so-called Libyan National Army, a loose coalition of army units that could become a nucleus for a future unified national army. According to Article 8 of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement, "all powers of the senior military, civil and security posts" will transfer immediately to the head of the Presidency Council. General Haftar's supporters in the HoR see this as an attempt to strip him of his role, with no guarantee that he would be reappointed in future. The HoR held a second vote directly after the debate on the new cabinet, which was overwhelmingly in favour of the Libyan Political Agreement-if it dropped Article 8. In light of this, Mr Serraj himself flew to Marj in eastern Libya to hold a surprise meeting with General Haftar on January 30th in an apparent attempt to assuage the fears of General Haftar's supporters in the HoR ahead of a fresh vote on a new cabinet. SHOW LESS READ MORE >