Saeed Amgheib, a member of Libya’s House of Representatives, has denied report claiming that the absence of financial allocation for the Libyan National Army (LNA) is the reason behind delay in approving the budget of the Government of National Unity (GNU). At the same time, he revealed that the government’s budget includes allocations for armed factions which are neither affiliated with the Interior Ministry nor the Defense Ministry.
Speaking to Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Amgheib affirmed that approving the budget is conditioned to legal quorum of the House votes so that its legitimacy won’t be contested.
The member of parliament cited a number of reasons behind the budget delay, including lack of clarification over areas of spending covered under the government’s development program, as well as concerns over the size of the budget compared to the government’s short tenure.
“We have repeatedly called for classifying the development program’s projects to clarify the aspects of spending in light of the program’s huge allocation of 20 billion Libyan dinars,” he said.
“We also called for canceling the ‘Emergency’ provision as there is no enough justification for it,” he said. “It can be easily approved later if something comes up”.
“We were afraid that the money would be looted and used to buy off debts as we are approaching the election day, especially in light of the division among the oversight bodies,” Amgheib explained.
“Unfortunately, the government did not respond to us despite our repeated demands,” he said. “We are in a phase that does not require a huge budget. What is required of this government, in the few months left for it, is to prepare for the elections and relieve the suffering of citizens by providing electricity and cash liquidity”.
Amgheib warned that if Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh authorized the budget without approval from the parliament, it would be “an entry point for corruption” and “a consolidation of political and institutional division”.