(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The UN-backed Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Presidency Council announced on Monday that it has given permission to 18 government ministers to start working, despite not yet being endorsed by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) in the east.
This move is another decision made by the GNA to overcome the House of Representatives’ (HoR) attempts to stall the political transition and unity of Libya after five years of political turmoil and chaos which have gripped the country since the 2011 ousting of dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
While a majority of members of the HoR, which is the GNA’s designated parliament, are in support of the unity government, their members have not yet been able to hold a meeting in order to give their vote of confidence due to the opposition from members who oppose the GNA, including HoR president Aguila Saleh. Saleh was sanctioned by the US Treasury due to his attempts of trying to prevent Libya’s political transition.
Last week Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj announced the establishment of the Presidential Guard which is responsible for protecting the headquarters of the Presidency Council and other public institutions.
Fathi al-Majbari, one of Serraj’s deputies, told The Associated Press that the Presidential Council’s decision to move forward is the result of “stubbornness of some of the parliament members” in Tobruk who “created a political vacuum.”
In Vienna on Monday, 20 foreign ministers are attending a summit co-chaired by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Libya.
The West hopes that the GNA is able to unite Libya under a central military command in order to defeat ISIS which has established a stronghold in Sirte, just 100 kilometres from European coastlines.