Libya: Leon unveils Unity Government

Libya has as of October 8, 2015 a new central government after one year of difficult negotiations between rival parties fighting for control over the country since the death of Col. Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

UN Special Envoy Leon announced the UN-proposed Government of National Accord (GNA) which will run Libya for the coming two years or so.

The government will be headed by the current Minister of Education, Fayez Sarraj from the internationally recognized government and member of the House of Representatives. He will be assisted by three Deputy Prime Ministers and two other senior ministers, all of whom will form the Presidential Council.

The proposed three deputy prime ministers from the West, the East and the South are Ahmed Meitig, Fathi Mejbari and Musa Kuni. The two senior ministers to complete the presidential council are Omar Aswad from Zintan and Mohammed Ammari, member of the GNC dialogue team.

Leon said all members of the proposed Presidential Council will have similar importance, same vote weight and will rotate in the representation role that corresponds to Libya in the international scene; a way to show that they are equal.

The Presidential Council will rule the country with a number of ministers to be approved by the Council. 17 names have been proposed to the ministerial positions: Fathi Hangari, Osama Siyala, Osama Sayd, Tareq Yousef, Abdelsalam Hassi, Shibani Buhamoud, Mustafa Aboushagur, Ashour shweil, Ibrahim Nayed, Abu Ajila Saifelnasr, Salam Kenan, Amal Hajj, Iman ben Younis, Khalil Bakoush, Mahmoud ben Shaaban, Murad Hamaima, Taher Sunni.

Two other key positions namely the National Security Council and the President of the State Council have been also filled. The first will be headed by Fathi Bashagha who will also enjoy the status of minister. The State Council will be capped by Abdelrahman Sweihli. Yet, Sweihli has reportedly said after the announcement that he is not interested in the post.

The GNC’s names proposed by the UN have not been endorsed by the GNC institution as the Tripoli-based Council failed on Wednesday to send its list of names.

Leon told reporters that the names were proposed by members of the GNC on individual basis and it was up to protagonists to approve the unity government.

Reactions from the GNC did not take long. The GNC which again asked for substantial amendment to the draft rejected the proposed government saying it was not consulted and will not be part of it.

Voices opposed to the UN-proposed government have also emerged within the Tobruk-based internationally recognized parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR.)

“This proposed government will lead to the division of Libya and will turn it into a joke. Mr Leon’s choice was unwise,” said Ibrahim Alzaghiat, lawmaker in HoR.

Leon urged the different rival parties and all Libyans who may see this government unqualified to support this bold move adding that only by endorsing it that it can deliver and meet the need of all Libyans especially the 2.4 million displaced people, in need of humanitarian aid. He continued saying that the international community will remain behind this government to ensure and facilitate its full operation.

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