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Libyan MP: Aguila Saleh is Complicating All Solutions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Libyan Parliament AFP Photo/Fethi Belaid / AFP

Cairo–Chairman of Parliamentary Health, Economy and Investment Committee MP Ayman Seif al-Nasr said that Speaker Aquila Saleh wants to overthrow the government.

During his visit to Egypt as part of a Libyan delegation, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper interviewed Nasr on the latest developments in Libya.

When asked about the true stance of Saleh regarding PM Fayez al-Sarraj, Nasr said it can’t be truly known what the speaker wants especially with the change in the agenda of the parliament and calling to vote on the motion of no-confidence.

He added that initially, the first clause of the agenda included reconsidering the internal list, while the second was about the constitutional referendum. “Then came the surprise to vote on the motion of no-confidence, with the absence of the members of parliament who support the agreement,” explained the lawmaker.

Nasr told Asharq Al-Awsat that this is a constitutional violation because the items intended to be discussed on the agenda should be announced 24 hours in advance.

According to the MP, this created a debate inside the parliament and many lawmakers boycotted the session. The attendees were 101 out of 179 MPs, with 61 granting the no-confidence vote and 39 storming out of the session in protest of its agenda.

“It is clear that the Speaker wants to overthrow the government and the procedures he is taking regarding the presidential council are not likely to have positive outcomes,” he added.

Nasr explained that the problem is that the speaker won’t preside the session in Tabrak when all members are present. He added that in the case two MPs want to hold a session, which is legal per the bylaws of the parliament, pro-Saleh lawmakers lock the doors of the halls preventing them from expressing their right.

When asked if there is something hindering the dialogue, Nasr said that it isn’t clear what Saleh wants. He added that previous discussions aimed to find a common ground, but it was never clear.

He explained that the problem lies in the rejection of the political agreement and the presidential council.

Aquila Saleh wanted the council to be all-inclusive.

“Political agreements don’t belong to one side, but rather an integrated partnership. We don’t present a military power here. We are working on a dialogue that can save the political process until we stop all wars and interferences, and take Libya into the safety shore,” said the MP.

When asked about the reasons why Saleh is hindering the political solution, Nasr believes there are none. He said all Saleh’s statements are contradictory, wondering whether Libya has the luxury of time to reach a solution.

He asked Saleh what’s his objection on Sarraj given that he had been there since the elections of the parliament and is candidate that doesn’t belong to any party or tribe, in addition that Sarraj is not rejected by Saleh himself.

After meeting the U.N. Sec Gen Special Envoy to Libya Martin Kobler in Egypt, Nasr thinks that Kobler is not very optimistic that the parliament can overcome this crisis. Yet, Kobler believes there is a chance for the parliament to vote on a new government and there is always a way to find a solution amid all the problems.

Despite that, Nasr said that Kobler can’t offer a solution; he merely tries to bring sides together.

When asked about his opinion on a possible solution, Nasr believes that Libya is at crossroads and a solution could be reached once guarantees have been granted to all sides.

The guarantees Nasr was referring to included rebuilding the trust in government formation, holding sessions of the presidential council and including Ali al-Qatrani and Omar al-Aswad in the negotiations.

In the end, Nasr said that the delegation came to Cairo because Egypt is keen to end the crisis of choosing the minister of defense given that it affects its national security.