According to Parliament Spokesman Abdullah Belhaq, the Libyan House of Representatives has suspended the ongoing budget approval sessions until after the Holy Eid al-Adha.
The House of Representatives convened today under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the House, Aguila Saleh, and in the presence of its first deputy, Fawzi al-Nuyeri, to continue deliberations on the draft State Budget Act 2021, but the meeting was adjourned due to a lack of a full quorum, as some deputies objected to the lack of a full quorum.
Abdullah Belhaq, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, explained that after a number of members of Parliament objected to the lack of a quorum to vote on the budget bill, the order was referred to the Legislative and Constitutional Committee of the House, which decided, in accordance with the Constitutional Proclamation and Act No. 4 of 2014, that there should be a quorum of votes to approve the budget bill.
According to the Speaker, 82 deputies attended today’s meeting, including budget objectors, so it was decided to postpone the meeting until after Eid al-Adha until there was a quorum for voting on the draft State budget bill.
Earlier, the House of Representative’s information adviser Fathi Al-Marimi stated that the House would adopt the budget if it was convinced of the Finance Committee’s report and the Government’s responses to questions from House of Representatives members about the vague issues in the items submitted by the Government of National Unity.
In a statement to the Libyan news agency, Al-Marimi explained that the failure of the House of Representatives to adopt the budget during previous budget hearings was not due to a lack of agreement on sovereign positions, but to the Government’s failure to answer some of the questions and questions presented to the GNU by members.
The Libyan Parliament failed to approve the GNU’s general budget for the fifth time last week, sending it back to the government for more changes and lowering the figure requested by the GNU.
Over the last month and a half, Libya’s Parliament has repeatedly halted the national budget approval session, bringing the country’s economy to a halt as the Government of National Unity is unable to meet the majority of its declared targets due to a lack of funds.
Members of the public have taken to social media to express their growing dissatisfaction with the Parliament’s continued delays in approving the budget, with some claiming it is done on purpose to prevent the GNU from succeeding and others calling for the budget to be approved as soon as possible so the nation’s public sector can resume normal operations.
As things stand, despite the Government of National Unity’s continued efforts to improve matters, Libya’s electricity crisis has worsened, the country’s national budget continues to stall, negatively impacting the economy, and the majority of government institutions have yet to be united.