The new Libya cabinet formation

Political conditions pushed the Libyan Prime Minister-designate Abdulhamid Dbeibeh to form two cabinet teams, the first would be included of 24 to 26 ministers. If this formation would be rejected, he would propose a government of technocrats that would comprise 15 groups.

Sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that women would constitute a third of the new government. It would not include any loyalists to the Muslim Brotherhood or its political branch, the Justice and Construction Party, or any lawmakers or members of the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Actually, this indicates that GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha would not keep his position in the new cabinet, and Dbeibeh would probably nominate himself as a defense minister, like the lead of GNA chief, Fayez al-Sarraj, who also holds that portfolio.

It’s expected that Lamia Abusedra would nominate as foreign minister, she is a former official in the al-Watan party led by Abdelhakim Belhaj, the ex-commander of the now defunct militant Islamic Fighting Group.

An aide to Dbeibeh informed Asharq Al-Awsat, with condition of anonymity that the delay in revealing the cabinet is because the significant pressure from some MPs. He indicated that the lawmakers are trying to obtain government portfolios or administrative positions for themselves or their relatives and associates.

Otherwise, High Council of State head, Khalid al-Mishri reported on Monday that Dbeibeh told the body that he needed two and a half years to complete the government roadmap that would force him to postpone the December elections. Indeed, he demanded that the roadmap be modified or that the elections be held on time to avoid these problems.

He also said that certain 11 or 13 lawmakers have demanded that Dbeibeh give them sovereign ministries in cabinet, including the defense and interior portfolios and the position of head of intelligence.

Furthermore, there were claims that members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum had received bribes to elect Dbeibeh. At least three participants in UN-led Libya peace talks were bribed for votes, experts from the world body found in a report for the Security Council.

Otherwise, Speaker of the east-based parliament, Aguila Saleh, declared on Tuesday that the session to grant confidence to the cabinet must be delayed while officials study the report. The session is fixed for Monday. He also said vote-buying is a crime that cannot be ignored, and he joined 24 lawmakers who have appealed for the postponement of the parliament session.

As comments on the UN expert panel report, the UN Support Mission in Libya stated that the Panel of Experts (PoE) is a separate entity, completely independent from UNSMIL.

In a statement on Tuesday, the mission said that the PoE provides its report to the Security Council Sanctions Committee. The Mission further stresses that it does not receive the reports of the PoE including its latest report, and it is therefore not in a position to comment on it. Any questions in this regard should be addressed to the Sanctions Committee.

It added that the UNSMIL and its partners strongly encourage the parliament to gather as programmed On March 8 to discuss and consider the vote of confidence to the cabinet to be proposed by Dbeibeh. They also encourage the PM-designate to present the lineup without further delay.

It also said: This call comes in line with the increasing public demand for the urgent need to form a unified government to address the most pressing needs and facilitate the holding of national elections in December 2021.

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