Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Libyan Speaker: My Disagreement with Sarraj is not Personal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Fayez Serraj speaks at a press conference in Tripoli. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Cairo- Libyan Speaker Aguila Saleh said in an exclusive interview with Asharq al Awsat that his dispute with the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, is not personal but rather about the constitutional procedures.

Saleh said that the formation of the Presidential Council is not stated in the Libyan constitution but came due to international pressure. He demanded the suitable procedures be followed to accept such a council.

When asked about his dispute with al-Sarraj, Saleh explained that it is nothing personal.

He went on to say that he just wants the law and constitution respected and the Presidential Council discussed at the parliament until it is endorsed.

Saleh explained that it is strange for one person to have the ranks of the chairman and prime minister.

The Speaker made it clear that political influence is not granted by international powers because officials reach such positions through elections by the people.

When asked how to deal with such a situation, he explained that the Presidential Council should convene with the MPs to modify the constitution.

Saleh said that the confidence motion is not granted to the council if a number of MPs signed a memorandum. He stated that there are certain constitutional steps to be followed and this is not up to U.N. special envoy Martin Kobler.

In response to a question about the solution to the current crisis, Saleh explained that the chairman of the Presidential Council and members of parliament should meet in the parliament.

He noted that Fayez al-Sarraj is an MP and has not been attending sessions in an indication that he doesn’t want the parliament to grant him a confidence motion. Saleh wondered whether this is lawful and constitutional.

Saleh believes that a way out of this crisis could be if Arab countries and the African union interfered unbiasedly. He added that the solution needs reconsideration of certain procedures taken especially the formation of the military operations room to protect the government.

When asked about the sanctions imposed by the U.N., Saleh said that these sanctions are interference in Libyan affairs.

Saleh said he never banned anyone from attending the sessions and his dispute with the Chairman of the Presidential Council can be solved with dialogue.

He wondered whether it is right for the international community to impose sanctions on anyone who follows the constitution.

In his response to whether there are Egyptian efforts for inter-Libyan reconciliation, Saleh welcomed any role Egypt might play for a settlement, adding that he previously asked for Egypt’s mediation when he was in the Ivory Coast.

Saleh prefered to have an Arab mediator.

He concluded that the Libyan army needs support and weapons, which will make the country terrorist-free within days.