By Sami Zaptia.
London, 13 April 2016:
As partially reported by Libya Herald yesterday, more details have emerged of the State Council’s . . .[restrict]instructions to the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) regarding dealings with the GNC.
In a letter that has been made public today, the High State Council led by Abdulrahman Swehli has ordered the CBL to cease all financial dealings with the GNC.
The letter stated that the GNC had expired and, by implication, no longer had any authority or legitimacy.
The latest statement by the High Council puts it and the GNC squarely in a head-to-head battle for authority and legitimacy. The State Council letter says that it is currently the relevant body.
The action by the State Council overlooks the fact that the House of Representatives (HoR) considers its early formation premature ahead of a vote by the HoR on a necessary constitutional amendment and ahead of a vote of confidence in the Government of National Accord (GNA).
The open warfare between the State Council, overwhelmingly dominated by former GNC members, and the rump of the GNC still clinging on to power, further exposes the split and power struggle between the two GNC factions.
It also belies their 2014 claims that their military fight to control Tripoli has been all along one of principles and ideology, rather than for continued power.
The situation put the poor CBL in a very tight situation, caught between taking orders from the rump GNC and its Salvation Government, the State Council and the Presidency Council/Government of National Accord and the HoR and Thinni government in the east.
The CBL has maintained that it has attempted to remain a technocratic, independent financial body. However, de facto power in Tripoli by the Salvation Government had meant it had to deal with the local authority. It will be interesting to see if it recognizes the questioned authority of the State Council.
Where the CBL decides to stand will be pivotal as most Libyans live off a state salary. Whichever body gains the loyalty of the Tripoli-based CBL will gain de facto control of Libya’s purse strings, and hence control over Libya.
It will also be interesting to see if the rump GNC and its Salvation Government will attempt to use force, through their allied militias in Tripoli, to coerce the CBL into implementing their instructions and paying their handsome salaries. [/restrict]