The Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, has instructed the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, Saddek El-Kaber, to only disburse funds to the current Aldabaiba government for the first (salaries) and the fourth (subsidies) chapters of the budget.
The revelation came through a widely leaked and circulated letter on Libyan media believed to have been sent on 25 January.
The letter stipulates that this restricted spending should continue until the budget law or a decision to spend from the legislative authority is issued, and the conditions of the executive authority (the Caretaker government) are addressed according to the outcomes of the Road Map Committee.
The letter referred to the state’s financial law, the House of Representatives’ Resolution No. (10) of 2021 regarding the withdrawal of confidence from the Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba Government of National Unity (GNU), and the HoR’s decision forming a committee to prepare the country’s roadmap for its next stage.
Caretaker PM and GNU – reduced authority?
It will be recalled, and as the leaked letter points out, the HoR had withdrawn confidence from the Aldabaiba GNU last September rendering him a Caretaker Prime Minister and the GNU a caretaker government.
HoR ”unanimously” elects former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha as PM
Moreover, the HoR ”unanimously” elected former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, Prime Minister designate on 10 February, giving him two weeks to present a government for a vote of approval. This implies that Aldabaiba now has a reduced mandate and authority.
When does Aldabaiba’s time in office expire?
However, Aldabaiba was brought into office through the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) formula, through which Aldabaiba, the UN and the leading Western states believe he is still entitled to remain in office until a newly elected government takes over.
The HoR, on the other hand, maintain that Aldabaiba’s term in office expired on 24 December 2021, the planned election date – despite the fact that elections failed to take place.
Aldabaiba ignores parliament, promises more spending
Aldabaiba has so far refused to yield power to Bashagha. Moreover, he has totally ignored the fact that the HoR has reduced his authority and wants to replace him. Instead, at last Friday’s eleventh anniversary of the 17th February Revolution celebrations, Aldabaiba promised a raft of new spending decisions – outside the areas authorised by the HoR. These included the promise of the disbursement of loans, land and half-constructed apartments to youth.
Aldabaiba has also promised to launch his own Libyan political Road Map.
Still no 2021 or 2022 budget
It will be recalled that the HoR never approved the 2021 budget for the Aldabaiba GNU, prior to withdrawing confidence from it. The budget was the cause of – or excuse for – the fallout between Aldabaiba and the HoR.
Presently, of country continues to function using the standing one twelfth formula law which stipulates that the CBL can continue to disburse the equivalent of the last approved budget monthly. The HoR has also not approved a 2022 budget.