By Houda Mzioudet.
Tunis, 1 December 2016:
The Central Bank of Libya and its governor Saddek Elkaber are one of the main problems facing the Presidency Council, Mohemed Raied has said.
“They need to change the banking system”, Raied told the Libya Herald. “It’s shown it’s failed”. As for Elkaber he had to be replaced. “He wants to starve Libyans”, he claimed, saying that the governor was deliberately sabotaging the Libyan economy in order to bring down the Presidency Council.
He was speaking on the sidelines of Monday’s conference in Tunis on creating entrepreneurship in Libya at which Elkaber was slated to speak but did not turn up.
Others attending the conference also privately accused Elkaber of deliberately stopping the banks handing out cash in order to turn the public against the PC and its head, Faiez Serraj. “He’s doing it on someone else’s behalf,” claimed one top Libyan official who did not want to be named.
Serraj himself, in his interview last month with this newspaper, accused the CBL governor of being a spoiler.
Raied, who is Misrata’s leading businessman as well as a member of the House of Representatives, also said that the dinar should be devalued, to between LD 3 and LD 4 to the dollar. He further called for subsidies on foodstuffs and fuel to be replaced.
With more and more Libyans losing trust in the banks and being unwilling to deposit their money, the cash crisis was becoming worse, he said, further pressurising the government to print more money. However, while there needed to be a fresh approach within the CBL, privatising the banks was not a solution to the problem, Raied said that
“But there needs to be urgent measures”, he said, and in its response the CBL had to be seen supporting the government.
Elkaber’s term of office ran out a couple of months ago but he has managed to hang on because under the Libyan Political Agreement, a new appointement needs to approved by both the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and High State Council.
Neither recognise each other and so are not speaking to each other.