Members of Libya’s internationally recognized parliament rejected the latest draft of the UN peace deal and a proposed unity government on Tuesday, further throwing negotiations into chaos.
The House of Representatives is yet to officially vote as a body on the UN peace proposals – that session has been postponed until next week.
But 26 lawmakers came forward on Tuesday to express their “full rejection” of what was presented by the UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon at the latest dialogue session in Skhirat, Morocco last week.
The UN had hoped to put an end to a year long civil war, by creating the joint body that would include representatives from the HoR and the rival parliament, installed by armed coalition Libya Dawn last summer.
Dawn stormed to power in Tripoli in August, setting up their own legislature by resurrecting the then-defunct General National Congress. It forced the HoR and its cabinet to operate in the east, in Tobruk and Bayda, sparking the war.
HoR members on Tuesday objected to details within the peace agreement and to the unity government members suggested by Leon.
“There are substantial irregularities in the new proposal… And some of those nominated [for the government] are linked to terrorism and have taken part in crimes committed,” the parliamentarians declared live on TV.
“This does not respect the will of the Libyan people,” they added.
One of their main grievances was Leon’s nomination of the National Security Council chief – a position which should be appointed by the Prime Minister, they said.
Leon suggested Fathi Bashagha for the role – a boycotting HoR member from Misrata, aligned with Dawn and on the Misrata military council.
They also disagreed with the nomination of the chief of the controversial State Council – an advisory body whose membership was largely reserved for GNC lawmakers.
Leon had suggested Abderrahman Swehli for the role: another Misratan HoR boycotter who is also still an acting GNG member, and head of the Homeland Party.
The HoR members, angered that another Dawn hardliner had taken a position of considerable power, said the role should be elected.
They also rejected to the addition of a third deputy prime minister – a decision not based on the draft agreement,” they said
The premier’s deputies would include Ahmed Maiteeg, a Misratan businessman and Tripoli resident, who was Prime Minister for month in 2014 backed by GNC hardliners.
There would also be Fathi al-Majbari, current Minister of Education in the Bayda government and Mussa al-Koni, a prominent member of the Tuareg minority from the south, a former diplomat in Mali, NTC member and independent dialogue member.
The trio represented the west, the east and the south of the country, Leon said.
Tuesday’s statement delivered sharp criticism of the UN for going ahead and naming ministers, a task, it said, reserved for the prime minister.
Some of the people on the list “were linked to terrorism and have taken part in crimes committed.. we will not drop this issue, just as we will not drop the national army,” they added.
HoR Spokesperson Faraj Buhashem was quick to emphasized that Tuesday’s statement was made by “only a group of HoR members, not Parliament as a whole” which was still debating the matter.
“This government is rejected… It will deepen differences between the Libyan people,” the GNC’s Mahmud Abdel Aziz told AFP, although the official vote session for the body on the draft is yet to take place.
Several GNC members rejected the posts offered to them by the UN including Swehli, who said the announcement was premature and illegitimate as the GNC did not participate in the choosing process.
Other GNC members – not put up for jobs in the government – delivered stinging criticism.
“The goal of the UN mission is to increase segregation and rupture between the Libyan people,” GNC member Abdelwahab al-Qaid told pro-GNC TV network Nabaa on Saturday.