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Tunis Talks Come to Impasse After HOR Team Suspends Participation

Representatives of both the Supreme Council (SC) and the House of Representatives (HOR) have been participating in talks since September 26th on the amendments of the Libyan Political Agreement as a first step in the United Nation’s proposed plan by its head Ghassan Salame. Last month, Salame unveiled a new roadmap for resolving Libya’s ongoing political crisis to the UN to pave the way for the presidential elections next year. The plan, which calls for holding presidential and parliamentary polls within one year, is aimed at the eventual establishment of a “unified, representative” government under the framework of the 2015 Skhirat Agreement.

During the initial meetings and up until this weekend the United Nations Special Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) has reported positive talks towards proposed models and decisions.

However, yesterday it was reported that HOR and the SC have come to an impediment in their talks. On Monday night, head of the HOR delegation Abdul Salam Nasiyah, accused the SC of backtracking on several points, and so Nasiyah stated that him and his members will suspend their participation.

During the first round of talks in September, participants agreed to set up a three-member Presidency Council and a new government, however disagreements had  revolved on an article of the 2015 deal which gave the GNA the power to name the head of the armed forces. The second round of talks were held this week and had reached a “pivotal” point “when both sides came close to a clearer understanding of the selection-mechanism for the Presidency Council”, UNSMIL said in a statement. UNSMIL stated that the meeting has been postponed for both parties to discuss internal disagreements, and that much of the discussions still remain pending and there is no specification as to when it will resume.

The LPA Dialogue Committee had been created in hopes of resolving the ongoing political strife and allow a way forward. The dialogue began with each parties presenting their list of demands to Ghassan Salame. The SC had called for the inclusion of Libyan lawmakers who resigned in 2014 following elections for Libya’s Tobruk-based HOR and eventually the creation of the current State Supreme Council made up lawmakers who did not resign.The committee’s list, which has been seen by Anadolu Agency, also includes demands for the annulment of a legal article that gives powers to Libya’s Tripoli-based Presidential Council to act as the commander in chief of Libya’s national army, rather than the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

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