Libya: new cabinet in 10 days following rejection, EU set to sanction peace process spoilers

Libya: new cabinet in 10 days following rejection, EU set to sanction peace process spoilers

Libyan Presidency Council Tuesday pledged to re-name a new cabinet after the Tobruk parliament rejected the first 32-member proposed government deemed too large.

“We will respect the deadline of 10 days,” unity government adviser, Fathi Ben Issa said.

Prime Minister-designate Faiez Serraj’s first government proposal was turned down Monday after the lawmakers of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) overwhelmingly rejected it saying it was too large.

Following the rejection, UN mediator Martin Kobler urged the Council and the HoR to quickly work together in order to unveil a new cabinet deemed necessary to tackle pressing issues which have traumatized the North African oil rich country since the fall and death of Col Gaddafi in 2011.

The UN has brokered a peace deal between rivals providing for the formation of a unity government known as Government of National Accord (GNA.) The deal was signed in Morocco on December 17, 2015 by fringes of rivals sides.

Even though the EU, the US and the international community have lent their support to the GNA, there still remains resistance to allow the unity government to take office in Tripoli as wished by the UN and the US.

The Tripoli-based administration and its affiliate congress (GNC) have opposed the UN-backed unity government and vowed to sabotage efforts seeking to bring it to Tripoli.

However, the GNA is increasingly gaining adherence. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on a visit to Italy on Monday stood in support of the unity government adding that without it Libya will remain at the mercy of human traffickers and terrorist organizations.

As to the possibility of foreign military intervention to flash out terrorist organizations including IS, Rouhani said this could succeed only when all Libyans participate in the GNA.

Meanwhile, the EU is reportedly studying sanctions against hardliners making the peace process stumble. GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain and GNC-appointed Prime Minister Khalifa Ghwell are reportedly targeted and could soon be banned from traveling and see their assets frozen.

Many sources said the EU is eager to see the political process go forward and would not hesitate to penalize those who want to obstruct it.

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