By Sami Zaptia.
London, 24 June 2016:
Highly placed sources at the LPTIC, the holding company that owns all Libyan state telecoms companies, including mobile operators Madar and Libyana, internet service provider LTT and Libya Post have confirmed to Libya Herald that an agreement has been reached to unify the split companies.
After the post-2014 election coup by pro GNC militias in Tripoli forced the legitimate authorities to flee to the east of the country, the leadership of the state telecoms sector split along political lines. Management that supported the Tobruk House of Representatives (HoR) and its Beida-based Abdullah Thinni government fled to either east of the country or abroad.
The pro-HoR LPTIC set up its HQ in Malta whilst the pro GNC management took over de facto operations in western Libya. After the arrival of the Faiez Serraj-led Government of National Accord arrived in Tripoli on 30 March, there were initiatives to reunite the top management of the state telecoms sector.
This was aided by the fact that under the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat, Morocco in December 2015, all the top sovereign positions revert to the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council (PC)
The HoR and internationally recognized LPTIC chairman, Faisal Gergab, had met the Presidency Council after its arrival in Tripoli and presented an initiative to the PC/GNA to unify the split telecoms sector under the new de facto authority in Tripoli. The source informed Libya Herald that all chairmen of LPTIC’s subsidiaries have signed a letter accepting Gergab as chairman of LPTIC.
It is believed that the PC/GNA will make a statement soon appointing Gergab as LPTIC’s chairman and it is expected that he will move back to his office at LPTIC’s HQ at Zawia street in Tripoli unopposed.
However, it must be pointed out that the HoR, still the only legislative authority in Libya recognized by the LPA and the international community, does not recognize these steps as it has yet to approve the GNA. Abdullah Thinni has gone so far as to dismiss Gergab as Deputy chairman of the LIA. However, this decision is seen as illegal as it was not done via the board of directors.
It is worth mentioning that the National Oil Corporation and Libyan Airlines have also recently agreed to reunite their boards of directors.