A number of members of the General National Congress (GNC) this afternoon announced that they approved the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and the Government of National Accord led by Faiez Serraj and that, as a result, the GNC was now dissolved. They were, they said, now reconstituted as the new State Council, as envisaged under the LPA.
Chaired by Saleh Makhzoum, the former deputy GNC president, the event took place in the Mahary Radisson Blu Hotel rather than the GNC’s usual meeting place next to the Rixos Hotel. It is still in the hands of GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain and his supporters.
According to Makhzoum, some 94 members took part in the event although only 67 members appeared to be present in the hall.
In what appeared very much as a stage-managed event, after Makhzoum announced the end of the GNC, the GNC logo behind him was removed and replaced with this of the State Council.
The chair was then taken over by former Hay Al-Andalus GNC member Abdulrahman Shater who, as the oldest member of the new State Council, is acting as its president. Demanding that violence and bloodshed stop, he said this first formal meeting of the Council was “historic” and that its existence would help Libya achieve stability. He added there would now be discussions on electing a full time president of the Council.
The event was attended by numerous prominent pro-LNA members of the GNC, including Abdurrahman Sewehli, Belgassem Gzeit, Nizar Kawan, Abdussalam Asafrani and Musa Faraj.
Sewehli, who previously expressed his interest in becoming the Council’s president, was quoted by the Libyan news agency LANA saying that the Council’s next step would be to decide in its internal administrative rules.
Under the LPA, however, the House of Representatives alone endorses the agreement and, until it is endorsed, the State Council theoretically does not exist.