Libyan State Council denies MPs want to cling to power

By Jihad Nasr

TRIPOLI (AA) – Libya’s Supreme Council of State on Monday rejected an accusation by UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame that its members and those of the House of Representatives aspire to cling to power.

In a statement, the council condemned Salame’s remarks, considering them incompatible with the realty of its stance.

On Sept. 26 while addressing the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Salame claimed that deputies elected in 2012 and 2014 who form the High State Council and House of Representatives “only hold ambitions to remain in power indefinitely”.

Meanwhile, “the appointed [Libyan] Government of National Accord is underperforming and struggles to exist as others seek to crush it but provide no plausible alternative,” he added.

The council noted it has issued a referendum draft law on the constitution and referred it to parliament and reiterated that its efforts were always for ending the transitional phase and entering a constitutional one.

It also expressed its readiness to agree with parliament to amend a political agreement signed by Libyan political rivals in 2015 and to include it in the constitution.

In addition, it expressed its readiness to restructure the presidential council, executive authority and sovereign posts in order to end the duplication of state institutions.

Libya has remained dogged by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power — one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli — and a host of heavily armed militia groups.