Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff
Yesterday Libyan Prime Minister Designate Fayez Al Sarraj issued a statement through an online video from Tripoli, announcing his plans to battle the threat of ISIS through the unification of all parties under his government, and without foreign intervention.
Sarraj spoke of the progress made by the Presidential Council that began with the difficult yet peaceful entry into Tripoli which took place without any fighting, chaos, or bloodshed.
He set his agenda of stability, safety and security and a promise of a decent life for all Libyans followed by a reminder that there is no time to lose in political maneuvers and that the focus is to implement the requirements contained in the political agreement.
Outlining the work completed over the last several weeks since his arrival, Sarraj explained that his council held a series of meetings on political, economic, and social priorities with officials and specialists in security institutions, financial and economic institutions, corporate entities, municipal councils, with respected Libyan leaders, women and Libyan youth from across the nation.
He pointed out a plan of identifying quick and effective solutions which address the most critical problems facing Libyan citizens, especially those related to their daily lives, financial and economic challenges, such as outstanding salaries, cash flow, foreign currency, and the import of basic commodities and essential resources. He included the need for medical supplies and emergency services, and electricity and energy problems as leading issues.
Calling on all Libyans to give his government a few more weeks to provide basic needs to all citizens, Sarraj emphasized how in the short period since his internationally backed unity government took over in the capital Tripoli, he was able to form a committee mandated to take over institutions of the state in coordination with security agencies and the Interior Ministry, which have already taken over a number of premises.
Sarraj noted that despite the new government’s achievements, he has not lost sight of the ongoing security situation in Libya and stressed that communication between the new Government of National Accord (GNA) and other military leaders and armed brigades across the country is essential for its success. The Prime Minister applauded the eagerness and seriousness of the many political groups across the country who vowed to work together with the unity government to build a state of institutions and law.
He also stated that he had met with other political parties and skeptics of the new political agreement in an attempt to gain an understanding of their point of view, which shows the new government’s objective in achieving national unity through reconciliation, safety, security, prosperity and construction. Sarraj stated that his national unity government encompasses all Libyans, including those who support the agreement, as well as those who oppose it, and while he is respectful of all views, he stated that the GNA’s national responsibility requires him to place the interests of Libya and all citizen above everything else, and at no cost to individual political or regional agendas.The legitimacy of the Presidential Council and the government emanating from it stems from the LPA that came after a national dialogue which lasted nearly a year and a half.
Sarraj called upon all the parties involved in the LPA to work within the powers granted to them and not to undermine the agreement, especially the House of Representatives (HOR), which still needs to complete its responsibilities under its mandate and give its vote of confidence to the GNA, thus avoiding confusion, tension and disagreement.
The Prime Minister stated that the outbreak of terrorism by ISIS remains a critical issue facing Libya and revealed that his government has begun to develop a national strategy to eliminate the ISIS threat solely through Libyan forces, and without any foreign intervention.
Sarraj stressed that the defeat of ISIS in Sirte and surrounding areas could only be achieved with the participation of all parties under the GNA, stating that he has begun coordinating with the Minister of Defense and military chiefs, as well as the general commanders of the Army and all the military leaders in the east, west and south in order to establish a common operation room to ensure the participation of all Libyan armed forces across the country in this objective.
Following the Prime Minister’s Statement, in which he recognized that the LPA gives the functions of Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army to the PC, one of his deputies, Ali Faraj Alqatrani, issued a statement disputing the actions of the PC. Alqatrani argued that since the constitutional declaration has yet to be amended, the functions of the Supreme Commander of the Libyan army remains in the power of the HOR, making the PC unable to lead a coordinated effort in the fight against ISIS. However, many legal experts argue that the Libyan Supreme Court ruling in 2014 that nullified the HOR and re-enacted the GNC gave the GNC the legal authority to amend the constitutional deceleration, as it did last month, as long as it was conducted within the by-laws of the Congress.
Nevertheless, the HOR’s reluctance to conduct the vote, as required by it in the LPA, remains a major political obstacle in the way forward for Libya.