Abdullah Al-Kabir, a Libyan writer
After the failure of the plan to withdraw confidence from the Government of National Unity due to the popular protests and the massive demonstrations and the positions of municipal councils from all over Libya rejecting this step, with a decisive position from the Western countries and the United Nations represented in its mission to Libya supporting the government, the alliance of Haftar and Aqilah Saleh is taking another path to obstruct the elections scheduled for December, and to hold the government and other political parties responsible, by trying to weaken the government by withdrawing ministers and agents of the eastern region from it.
The statement of the Deputy Prime Minister, Hussein Al-Qatrani, in which he criticized the performance of the Prime Minister, accusing him of unilateralism in the decision, was the first step in this direction, the reaction of the government and international positions will determine the next steps, either towards an escalation with the collective resignation of the ministers and agents of the East in the government, thus forfeiting the status of the national unity government, or the prime minister and the parties supporting him will succeed in taming this rebellion through dialogue, by implementing some of the demands contained in the Al-Qatrani statement, the international positions, especially the American one, will have a decisive impact on the type of next steps.
Some of the reasons mentioned in the statement of protest against the Prime Minister are valid and require treatment, but not to the extent that ministers, agents and some municipal councils mobilize and protest. It was possible to address these reasons within the meetings of the Council of Ministers, or in a special meeting between the Prime Minister and the government members from the eastern region.
If equitable solutions cannot be reached, then Al-Qatrani has the right to escalate and threaten to resign, but the truth is completely different, and the argument of marginalization, and the demands of some social groups for their rights were only a pretext and a front for the undeclared political goal of this escalation, which is behind the ruling family in the East, Haftar and his sons.
The deputy prime minister or ministers have no right to demand the nomination of a minister of defense, as long as the prime minister bears this responsibility along with his other responsibilities, and it is an unimportant ministry at the current stage, Libya is not exposed to external aggression or threat until the government focuses its efforts in the confrontation through the Ministry of Defense, there are issues and files that are more urgent and need to be addressed urgently.
If the goal of activating the ministry is to unify the military forces, then all these forces must first recognize the government and submit to its decisions, and the roadmap for a political solution, and this did not happen by Haftar and his militias.
Rather, what happened is the exact opposite, and the government was prevented from holding its meeting in Benghazi because it did not offer the obligations of loyalty and obedience to Haftar, and its president did not go to Haftar to seek his love and satisfaction, as others did in previous governments, with the exception of the Salvation Government.
The scene of escalation against the government and the threat of the resignation of members of the Cyrenaica region is not new. Ali Al-Qatrani, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Al-Sarraj, suspended his membership in the government several times and then left it, then the other deputy, Fathi Al-Majbri, followed him.
Haftar’s ambitions to rule by undermining the government and obstructing any project for it to gather the country’s diaspora were the main reason for provoking problems and putting obstacles in the way of any reconciliation that marginalizes Haftar, and paves the way towards a real reconciliation that would bring the country to stability and face all challenges, and between the first and the second Al-Qatrani, the scene did not change much, despite all the international efforts.
In parallel with Al-Qatrani’s protest statement, one of Haftar’s representatives in the House of Representatives issued a statement threatening to close the oil sector, the other card that Haftar threatens to use whenever his situation worsens, or he feels that the noose is tightening against him.
The conclusion is that we are facing a new chapter identical to previous chapters in which Haftar and his family move their papers according to the developments in the political situation, although the international situation bears a fair amount of difference this time, due to the growing American involvement in the Libyan crisis.
In light of this position and the international and regional reactions to these developments, we will know whether the elections will be held on time! This is the farthest possibility, given the continued lack of consensus on the legislative base and election laws. Or will a parallel government be formed in the east after the end of December 24 without elections? Which is the closest possibility.