Head of Libyan Parliament to Asharq Al-Awsat: GNA Is Illegal

Head of Libyan Parliament to Asharq Al-Awsat: GNA Is Illegal

Thursday, 12 July, 2018 - 09:00
The head of Libya’s parliament, Aguila Saleh (AFP Photo/Mohamed El-Shahed)
Cairo- Abdul Sattar Hatita
Speaker of the Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh said, in an interview with Asharq Al Awsat, the Government of National Accord, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, was illegal, frail and lacked a national army.

Saleh is in fact the interim president of the country, based on an amendment to the country’s constitutional declaration in 2014. But the international community insists on overlooking this fact in favor of Sarraj, who chaired the GNA following an agreement between the Libyan parties under the auspices of the United Nations in the Moroccan city of Skhirat in 2015.

Sarraj administers the state from Tripoli and has given himself the title of supreme commander of the Libyan army. But Saleh sees this as a major violation of his powers as speaker of the parliament, which he runs from his headquarters in Tobruk.

Saleh, 74, describes Sarraj’s presidential council and the accord government as “illegal bodies”. He accuses them of “supporting groups that attacked the army in the oil fields, with the money obtained from oil exports, including 40 million Dinars to a leader of those militias.”

“This is something that cannot continue this way. We want a fair management of oil export revenues because they belong to all Libyans,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

As for his position on the Skhirat agreement, he said: “The so-called presidential council had no legitimacy in Libya as it came in line with the supposed political agreement,” noting that those who signed the agreement in Skhirat were “not authorized by the Libyan people or by the legislative authorities in the country.”

He stressed that Martin Kobler, the former UN envoy to Libya, “had collected 22 persons, who had no status nor mandate, and made them sign this political agreement.”

Saleh also questioned the fate of billions of dollars in oil revenues that have entered the government in Tripoli over the past period.

“Oil revenues have exceeded 1.2 million barrels a day. But the situation in Libya has not changed. The value of the dollar is approaching ten dinars (in the parallel market). Prices are high... and liquidity is in constant decline, and this is evidence of abuse of power and waste of public money,” he noted.

Saleh expressed his support for holding the presidential elections before any other elections.

“I strongly support the election of the president; first, because we need an executive authority to provide food, medicine and other requirements,” he said. “When the president is elected, the dispute over legitimacy will end, the institutions will be united, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces will be known.

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