On 8 October UNSMIL’s Bernardino Leon announced a list of names he selected to form the National Accord Government. The NAG’s Presidential Council would include Faiez Al-Serraj, member of the House of Representatives in Tobruk as prime minister, together with three deputy prime ministers, Ahmed Maetig (Misrata), Musa Kuni (south) and Fathi Majbri (east), and two other ministers, Omar Aswad (Zintan) and Mohamed Ammari (member of the GNC dialogue delegation). Besides, Fethi Bechagha (Misrata) was selected to head the Security Council, while Abderrahma Swihi (member of the GNC dialogue delegation, Misrata) would chair the State Council. Leon’s proposal was rejected by both the Tripoli-based GNC and the Tobruk-HoR. Divisions run deep in both camps, though. The armed groups backing both parties to the conflict are divided either. Observers expected the GNC to reject Leon’s proposal since Tripoli kept insisting on amending the seventh draft of the political agreement; in order to achieve some balance in the legislative prerogatives of the HoR and the State Council. The GNC indicated explicitly as well that Khalifa Hafter should not have a role in any future arrangements. It was, however, Tobruk’s HoR that rejected UNSMIL’s proposed NAG to Leon’s surprise. Tobruk considered that Leon gave the GNC most of the top positions, and that the NAG is basically a Misrata government. Although Al-Serraj is member of the HoR and was born in the east, near Ajdabia, he is viewed in Tobruk as a man of the west, having served in Tripoli in several positions in the civil works sector under Qaddafi. There was also a veto from Tobruk on the selection of Bechagha to head the Security Council, although he is a member of the HoR. Both the GNC and HoR criticised Leon’s initiative to amend the seventh draft of the agreement, and thereby introduce a third deputy premier although the seventh draft stipulated for only two deputies. Leon did also amend Article 67 to limit the signature of the agreement to the dialogue delegations only, rather than endorsement and ratification by their respective bodies (GNC and HoR). Although Leon tried to repair things by sending a letter to Tripoli and Tobruk explaining the amendments he voluntarily introduced, and even issued a press release explaining that the name he selected were only potential ones, that was not enough to change the positions of both camps. On 19 October the HoR held a heated session to officially decide on the draft agreement. The session was chaotic and suspended at least once. At the end, the speaker of the House read a communique in which it rejected Leon’s proposal and called for a return to the fourth draft of July 2015. In Tripoli the picture was not different. After a heated session, the GNC voted to reject the proposal and insisted on resumption of the dialogue to improve the seventh draft. In both camps a number of rebel members considered that the decisions were not representative of the will of all members. In what seemed a last ditch to save the process Leon called a meeting of Al-Serraj, Maetig, and Hafter in Cairo over the weekend, but by 20 October the last day in the mandate of the HoR, it seemed no agreement was reached despite a call by 40 countries to do so, and sanction threats by the UNSC. It is worth noting that Tarik Mitri, Leon’s predecessor, has published this month his memoirs on his two years in Libya.
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