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HoR and government fallout as questioning session is postponed to Wednesday

Libya’s Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba-led government seems to have had a spat with parliament today, as its questioning session planned for today was suddenly postponed until tomorrow- after the government had arrived in Tobruk.

It seems the government had arrived a little bit late and was, perhaps, expected to arrive either late last night or early this morning to allow for the start of an early morning session.

It is unclear if the government was late by design or by accident and whether parliamentarians saw this as a snub and accordingly postponed today’s session. Alternatively, parliamentarians may have planned all along to slap the government’s wrist for missing an earlier session.

It will be recalled that the government had already missed one planned questioning session on the pretext that it had an overseas trip to Jordan – which it kept.

Equally, Ageela Saleh’s statement during his visit to Morocco last week clearly shows that the relationship between the government and parliament is fraught.

He said the government ‘‘has deviated from its main tasks of unifying state institutions, providing citizens’ requirements, national reconciliation and preparing for elections’’.

Adding that ‘‘it has become a government planning as if it was a permanent government which was going to last for years’’.

Moreover, from the Prime Minister’s point of view, the House of Representatives has been toying with him. It has failed to approve three different drafts of his 2021 budget – and failed to approve an alternative proposal.

Commenting on the postponement of today’s HoR session, the government’s Official Spokesperson, Mohamed Hammuda said ‘‘At a time when the country needs continuous work as a result of the difficult situation it is going through and the need to move forward in the political process, the Government of National Unity (GNU) is surprised by the postponement of the government accountability session by the Libyan House of Representatives on the pretext that the government arrived late than the date of the session and there is not enough time left to hold it, despite the HoR’s request to hold it urgently earlier.

In appreciation of the supreme national interest, the GNU and its Prime Minister declare their commitment to attend the questioning session postponed until tomorrow, knowing that the government has submitted written answers to all questions to the Presidency of the HoR.’’

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