By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 6 May 2015:
Khalifa Ghwell, appointed by the continuing General National Congress in Tripoli at the end of . . .[restrict]March as its prime minister when it sacked Omar Hassi, is planning to introduce a reduced-size cabinet like that of the government in Beida, according to a top official in Tripoli.
According to the source who did not want to be named, it will have just nine ministers instead of almost 30.
As part of the restructuring and reshuffle, it is also reported that Ghwell plans to replace the controversial Mohamed Agheirani as his foreign minister. The names of the ministers he is said to have submitted to Congress for its approval have not been revealed. Congress is currently evaluating them, the source said. It may take some time, he added. “Everyone wants to propose someone from his side in the government.”
When the House of Representatives in Tobruk reappointed Abdullah Al-Thinni last September as prime minister, it told him that he had to slim down his cabinet to between eight and ten ministers. It eventually allowed him ten plus three deputy premiers. All portfolios not given ministerial status became authorities or boards, although the ministerial structures have remained in place.
Ghwell appears to be following this lead too.
All departments not represented in his cabinet will become public authorities but retaining ministry structures.
In reality, however, the Tripoli “government”, although having access to ministry buildings and facilities, has been almost completely powerless. Asked why Ghwell was bothering with a reshuffle given that he was appointed as a stop-gap pending a government of national unity resulting from the UN-brokered Dialogue process in Skhirat, the Tripoli official said that Ghwell had been given 30 days to come up with a new cabinet and was doing as asked.
The fact that Congress was evaluating Ghwell’s nominations at the same time that a government of national unity was supposedly about to be hammered out was not seen as contradictory, the source added.
It may also indicate that Congress, angry at latest Skhirat proposals, is thinking of an alternative scenario.