Panafrican News Agency

Libyan newspapers focus on 1st Round of Inter-Libyan Dialogue Forum and the Vision for the Future

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The next round of the Inter-Libyan Political Dialogue Forum must find ways of enabling its participants to agree on the country's political future.

Reports in local dailies this week suggest that the Acting Special Representative of UN Secretary-General in Libya, Stephanie Williams has a lot of work on her plate to clear for the dialogue to achieve the desired outcome.

The first round held from November 9-15 in Tunis under the auspices of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) failed to form an executive authority for the war-torn country.

It appears that the UN Mission, in the second round of the Comprehensive Political Dialogue Forum next week, will drop the exclusion of former officials for 12 months until the elections are held, according to Al-Wassat newspaper.

In its view, this becomes necessary in the context of the persistence of former officials who want to run for executive positions, despite Ms. Williams' suggestion to impose sanctions on those who obstruct the political process, otherwise they will disappear like the extinct dinosaurs.      

In a review, Al-Wassat wrote that "as might be expected when everyone broached the area of ​​appointments to the posts of the new executive body, the controversy escalated inside the room. The backstage ignited, everyone began to promote their candidates, in which all known methods were used in this context, until it came to mentioning bribes which reached unexpected sums."

According to the daily, this was the reason why a second round of political dialogue was launched, but this time via the Internet, by the technique or videoconferencing.

The Libyan press was also interested in the contribution in the ambient debate, of Libyan political personalities on their vision of the political future and their conception to achieve it alongside the coverage of the competitions that some countries are engaged in via their companies in the race of the reconstruction of Libya after the political and security crisis has been resolved.

Al-Wassat newspaper believes that reaching an agreement to set the date of the elections for December 24, 2021, as well as the mandate and candidacy criteria document, was seen as an important step forward in the political process to settle the crisis.

For its part, Afrigatenews was interested in debates on the prospects echoing the contribution of the former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Libyan Investment Authority Dr. Mohsen Derregia, warning of the danger of moving to a fourth phase of transition without laying the foundations of the Libyan state.

Observers of Libyan affairs find, according to the newspaper, that the criteria for choosing the president of the Presidential Council were the main reasons for the failure to obtain results on a Libyan personality, forcing him to form a certain consensus around him in East and West to take the next step, and be able to counter foreign influence.

The newspaper concluded that if the process of dialogue and negotiation, even if what was accomplished in Tunisia, is still long, according to existing data on the ground, which is the result of 10 years of disagreements and clashes who have reached the war point more than once, the question that arises here is whether Stephanie Williams can lead the dialogue, verify from a distance, which was impossible to do closely?

In an analytical paper titled: "Going to Elections or Going to Another Transitional Phase?" Derrgia said, according to the newspaper, that "the political dialogue began with the idea that Libya must unify and strengthen its institutions because  democracy is based on and with strong institutions, and with the idea that the economy must recover and livelihoods improve by providing services in some way better until there is a social, economic and security base on which to build.

"But some saw the elections as more important than economic reforms, the stability of electricity and the availability of water. They also saw that we had to go back to the people for full legitimacy".

Elections have failed to achieve this in the past when Libya was under unified rule, will this be successful when we are with all this division?               

According to Afrigatenews, Mr. Derregia added: "What is certain is that any elected authority can turn into authoritarian power in the absence of judicial and security institutions that deter tyranny. It is also certain that the economy is essential to the stability of countries, because elections do not feed the hungry, do not repair roads, and do not provide electricity or water. So we are going into a fourth transition without laying the foundations for a state, and that is where the risk lies. Will a government realize the importance of laying the foundations for stability, or will conflict continue and the quota system will continue?

Returning to the issue of countries' competition over Libya, Al-Wassat newspaper reported that the breakthrough in the settlement of the internal crisis that occurred between the two parties to the Libyan conflict after the ceasefire , encouraged what could be called the "positioning struggle" between companies and international powers over the shares of infrastructure reconstruction, the resumption of oil exploration projects and the acquisition of exports from the Libyan market, as well as ports.

Countries seeking an economic role in Libya are, according to the newspaper, mainly Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Italy, which are divided between those who are in a hurry to see stability in the country and others who fear that their interests will change with the change of presidential council officials.

The newspaper concluded that the comeback of foreign companies is likely to be met with compensation claims from successive Libyan governments since 2011, whose companies have been damaged by the war, as many of them have filed complaints due to losses resulting from the delay of their projects and the disruption of their equipment, according to the expectations of observers; while the Ministry of the Economy within the government of national accord had nearly 14,000 projects, worth more than 140 billion dollars, in 2019, pending since the start of the Libyan crisis. 

-0- PANA BY/IS/KND/AR 21Nov2020