In view of the impasse of the political track, following the aborted elections, and hardening of positions of the parties to the conflict, lack of initiatives on the part of UNSMIL and Advisor Stephanie Williams, and inability of the Presidential Council to play its role in taking decisive decisions to rescue the political track.
It seems that the current available option to overcome the current situation, and to progress a step forward to elections track, is the formation of a third government, in which all rival parties participate in the consultation of its formation.
This does not mean, however, that they be part of the government, since in this case, it will necessarily turn into a quota government, which will not pave the way to conducting elections.
The third government must be a mini-government to the minimum extent possible, and be formed from personalities not affiliated with the parties to the conflict, or at least its president with two deputies representing all the regions.
Perhaps this step, will break the current stalemate, and end the current conflict between the Government of National Unity and the parallel government, but this obviously will not be enough.
The constitutional base and election laws remain the most important steps for the elections, and according to Williams’ statements after the failure of the last Geneva round between the presidents of the House of Representatives and the High Council of State, the remaining contentious issues could be overcome and an acceptable settlement can be reached.
The resumption of negotiations on the constitutional base, and the election laws, needs an additional effort from Advisor Williams, with strong pressure from the international parties supporting the elections, because this path is outside the calculations of Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
This was apparent from his last correspondence with Williams, calling on her to implement Bouznika’s outcomes regarding the sovereign positions.
Through this approach, Aqila appears like a bankrupt merchant who returns to his old books, looking for forgotten debts, which he can reclaim in order to restore some of his lost authority, after his failure to overthrow the Dabaiba government, and empower the Bashagha government, as well as the strengthening by Dhabaiba and Haftar of their authority following the recent understandings, Which resulted in changing the board of directors of the National Oil Corporation, and the arrival of Haftar’s forces Chief of Staff, Al-Nadouri, to Tripoli.
The rapprochement between Dabaiba and Haftar was expected to continue by making a limited ministerial reshuffle, in which Haftar would obtain some ministries, in exchange for abandoning the Bashagha government altogether, and allowing Dabaiba and his government to move in his areas of influence and control.
However, the rejection and reserved reactions from the political and military parties supporting the Dabaiba government, prompted the latter to come out in televised remarks, denying the conclusion of any deal in his bid to continue in power and end the rival government.
The appearance of Dabaiba himself to explain his decision about assigning a figure close to Haftar to head the NOC, and to deny any deals or concessions to Haftar, with a sharp attack on his opponents, confirms his retreat and his inability to gamble with his allies, who revealed their willingness to abandon him, if the circulating news about granting Haftar what he wants in return for the continuation of his government, proved to be true.
Return of HoR designated prime minister to Misurata caused some disturbances between his supporters and those of Dabaiba.
It almost edged into an armed confrontation. The conflict, however, was contained by the intervention of the city’s notables, with a statement clarifying the lines that no party could cross, to spare the city the risk of sliding into an armed conflict.
This however, does not mean the end of rivalry, as both sides to the conflict continue to work to achieve their goals.
Therefore, it seems that there is no way out, except through a new forum under the auspices of the United Nations, and the agreement of the political parties, on a third government that will oversee holding of elections.
Abdullah Alkabir, a Libyan political writer and commentator
Libyan sources reveal a proposal to form a third government
Libyan sources have unveiled the existence of more than one proposal to form a third government, but they confirmed that the decision on any of the proposals had not yet been made.
The sources, reported by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, said there’s a meeting between Aqila Saleh and Khaled Al-Mishri in Turkey with a proposal to form a third government.
About the denial of the media office of the Speaker of House of Representatives (HoR), Aqila Saleh, that he had accepted any offer to form a third government, a parliamentary source explained to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Saleh’s clinging to Bashagha and his government was to confirm his stance that he told to Al-Mishri, which was that he would not urge the HoR to drop Bashagha’s government, unless the agreement is final with the High Council of State regarding a third government.
The source said that Saleh’s agreement on any proposal to form a third government was caused by his “annoyance about Khalifa Haftar’s intention to make a deal with the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, under Emirati sponsorship,” adding that at the same time, Saleh did not want to give up the “Bashagha card” easily.
About the proposal between Saleh and Al-Mishri in Ankara, the sources said it was to assign the member of the Presidential Council, Abdullah Al-Lafi, to form a mini-government in coordination between the HoR and HCS.
Although this proposal was made to the two chambers in Ankara, the sources confirmed that the Turkish side did not interfere in details, except for stressing on the need to resolve the agreement on a constitutional framework for elections with the aim of holding the vote at a specific time, referring to a Turkish proposal in this regard to form a Libyan committee similar to the political dialogue committee formed by the UN mission in the past, and whose mission is going to be to resolve the controversial points in the constitutional process that led to the halt of Cairo constitutional meetings last June.
The sources also revealed the existence of another proposal related to enabling Bashagha to take over the government in Tripoli, after a cabinet reshuffle of his government that would allow armed groups in the Libyan west, especially in Tripoli, and political parties to position themselves in within the government, by appointing personalities close to them in sovereign ministries in the government.
Local media have revealed in the past few days that there was an agreement between Saleh and Al-Mishri during their meeting on the sidelines of Saleh’s visit to Ankara to form a third government, adding that Al-Mishri submitted a proposal to Saleh, and the latter accepted it without any other details.