By Sami Zaptia.
London, 4 June 2021:
Libyan House of Representatives head Ageela Saleh and High State Council head Khaled Mishri both arrived in Rabat, Morocco yesterday for talks on the appointment of Libya’s remaining five Sovereign Positions.
It will be recalled that Morocco had hosted in Bouznika members of the House of Representatives and the High State Council in February and March for talks on the appointment of Libya’s key Sovereign Positions.
Agreement has been difficult to reach
Agreement on the positions has been difficult to reach despite both parties announcing in the January meeting that criteria for choosing the positions had been agreed. In reality, the conflict is over the political/geographical distribution of these positions, with the head of the Central Bank of Libya being the most controversial and sought-after.
Status quo forces
Eastern political forces detest the current CBL Governor and want to desperately appoint a successor who in their view is neutral or more aligned to their political outlook. Equally, the status quo forces in western Libya, including some militias, who may have prospered from the current CBL Governor are attempting to either keep the current Governor or instal a Governor that will be favourable to them.
Postpone appointments until after the 24 December elections?
There is the other status quo argument that suggests that this is the wrong time to shuffle all the Sovereign Positions and that such a long-term move should be left to the newly elected parliament after the 24 December 2021 elections.
A committee had been formed to receive nominations for each position. It stopped receiving nominations at the end of January.
The seven top sovereign Libyan positions are the:
- Governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL)
- Head of the Audit Bureau
- Head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA)
- Head of the High National Election Commission (HNEC)
- Head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)
- (Attorney General)
- (Head of the Supreme Court)
Although the official statements from both the HoR and HSC make no mention of the geographical distribution of the positions, unofficial reports by participants in talks say that the heads of these positions have been provisionally distributed as follows:
Tripolitania (west): Audit Bureau, Attorney General and HNEC
Cyrenaica (east): CBL and ACA
Fezzan (south): NACC and Supreme Court
The independence of the judiciary
It must be noted that both the positions of the Attorney General and Head of the Supreme Court have now been appointed with little political interference.