On the Libyan Crisis… Exclusive Interview with Aguila Saleh, Head of the Libyan House of Representatives

On the Libyan Crisis… Exclusive Interview with Aguila Saleh, Head of the Libyan House of Representatives

We publish this exclusive interview with Aguila Saleh, president of the Libyan Chamber of Representatives. Mr Saleh agreed to an interview with Stractegia to tell us more about the most important current affairs in Libya. The original version of this interview is in Arabic, and you can read it by clicking here: http://stractegia.com/fr/archivos/2662. What follows is a summary of the main points that have been stressed by Aguila Saleh in this interview.

Firstly, Aguila Saleh tells us that the Chamber of Representatives is a legislative body that deals with many issues, particularly important: such as leading mediations between tribes, and serving as a facilitator and a convener for the different actors of the Libyan society to get closer and work together. In addition, Aguila Saleh says that the Chamber of Representatives tries to fulfill the expectations of Libyans to separation of powers and the application of laws by independent courts. According to Saleh, Libyan revolutionaries’ wishes happen to coincide with these notions as well.

The President of the Chamber of Representatives considers that the only way ahead for benefitting from a state with strong institutions comes through the adoption of precise legal and constitutional bases. Saleh considers that the fact that the Chamber of Representatives was late in adopting the Law on the Constitutional referendum was not only due to disagreements between deputies; the rejection by the representatives of the province of Cyrenaica of both the Constitution and the Law on the referendum also had an important impact. These representatives fear that the fact that the inhabitants of the province of Tripolitania outnumber the people of Cyrenaica would have a negative impact when it comes to their rights and their representation.

Aguila Saleh also reminds us of the fact that an agreement had been reached over the division of Libya in three electoral districts: Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and the Fezzan. That being said, disagreements continued among deputies, and this led to 130 deputies out of 210 to vote in favor of organizing a special session to discuss about the Constitution and the referendum Law.

Saleh refers to how certain national and foreign actors are actors undermining the process because of their favoring the Libyan status quo. Additionally, Saleh justifies his rejection, about two years ago, to Prime minister Fayez Sarraj and his government, since he considered, at that time, that neither Sarraj nor his ministers were fit for governing Libya, at a time where the country was undergoing huge difficulties. Saleh adds that, from what he sees, events proved him to be right.

Regarding the sanctions that the European Union has adopted against him, the President of the Chamber of Representatives argues that they are not justified at all; he believes that they have no legal basis and that they are only meant to punish him for not having recognized Fayez Sarraj and his government.

Aguila Saleh sees that the Government of National Accord is the main responsible for the events that have occurred lately in Tripoli. He considers that the Government was wrong in giving legitimacy to the armed militias that are based in Tripoli and using them to protect itself,while it should have disarmed them.

Finally, Saleh says that he is always happy to work with his adversaries. But when asked why he refuses meeting with the head of the High Council of State, Khalid Mishri, the President of the Chamber of Representatives justifies his stance referring to legal considerations. Aguila Saleh considers that, since the Chamber of Representatives has not accepted, so far, the Libyan Political Agreement, this implies that the President of the Parliament cannot meet with somebody that claims to have a title that the Chamber of Representatives does not legally recognize.

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