The Prime Minister and the Libyan President contest the suspension of the Minister of Foreign Affairs | Libya

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Libya’s chronic political instability has been exposed, with the country’s Foreign Minister Najla El-Mangouch suspended from duty and barred from leaving the country by the president, only to have the disciplinary measure rejected by the Prime Minister Minister.

The power struggle comes days before a major conference in Paris in which world powers hope to speed up the departure of mercenaries and foreign troops from Libya ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December, which are at stake.

Mangoush, one of the few women at the top of Libyan male-dominated and sometimes violent politics, was suspended by the country’s interim president Mohamed al-Menfi, a former diplomat with a base of support in the east , “as a precaution” to investigate “administrative offenses”.

She has been accused of conducting a foreign policy without coordination with the Presidential Council, including suggesting in a BBC interview last week that a former Libyan intelligence officer involved in the Lockerbie bombing could be extradited to the States- United.

Mangoush only vowed that the extradition would be considered, not carried out, but his words were enough for his political opponents to try to oust him, which they have tried to do intermittently since his death. surprise date in February.

The investigation should last up to 14 days, the decision would indeed prevent him from going to the Paris conference organized by Emmanuel Macron and which the American vice-president, Kamala Harris, must attend.

Since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed by Western-backed rebels in 2011, Libya has been unable to form a government capable of unifying over the allocation of resources between the West, the east and south of the country. During a 2014-2020 civil war, the country was divided east and west between rival governments and warlords.

Menfi’s suspension of Mangouch was supported by 80 members of the House of Representatives, the parliament based in the east. But Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh said the power to appoint or suspend ministers in his government was his preserve.

Libya is ruled by an interim government after the presidential council was elected in February by a UN-appointed dialogue forum. Menfi and Dbeibeh were elected by the 75-member forum from a common list, but always represented different political interests. Their election was marked by allegations of corruption.

The only goal of the interim government, in theory, was to provide services and prepare for the presidential and legislative elections on December 24, but the populist prime minister behaved as if he wanted to stay in power longer, which is Very Western powers have resisted as they attempt to maintain momentum towards the vote in six weeks. Dbeibeh is said to have considered running for the presidency on Sunday.

The elections would, for the first time in Libyan history, endow the country with a legitimate unified government mandated in which there was a clear division of powers between a parliament and a directly elected president, a new post in the Libyan politics and parliament.

But the path to elections has been hampered by existing political institutions reluctant to relinquish power and favoritism, as well as real fears that elections in such a divided country, where militias and mercenaries proliferate, will not cure them. divisions of the country resulting in a stable and universally recognized government.

Mangoush, who has managed to present a different face internationally to Libyan largely male-led politics and can boast of having organized an earlier stability conference in Tripoli attended by foreign ministers from Europe, called on at least 20% of mercenaries and foreign forces to leave the country by December 24.

The mercenaries’ proposals to leave the country have made some headway, although Turkey insists that it is not part of this process since its forces are there at the invitation of the government.

In an attempt to give the impression that the momentum towards the elections is unstoppable, the head of the National High Election Commission, Imad al-Sayeh, announced that the presidential nominations would open on Monday and would continue until the 22nd. November, while parliamentary election nominations would be available until December 7. He also said Libyans could go to polling stations in schools to collect voting cards.

Mangoush reportedly said in his BBC interview that “positive results are to come” in the case of Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, who was said to have been one of the main bombmakers for Gaddafi. The United States has been asking for his extradition for at least two years and he is already in jail in Libya on unrelated charges.

She added that the process would have to respect Libyan laws, a caveat that did not make it clear which Libyan would ultimately accept his extradition. Her office also claimed that she did not name anyone during the interview.

Mangoush said the Libyan government “understands the pain and sorrow” of the families of the victims but “must obey the laws”. The United States and Libya were working together on the case, she said, and it was progressing.

A $ 2.7 billion compensation deal signed by the Gaddafi regime failed to protect Libyan citizens from future lawsuits, the United States claims. It simply served to lift the sanctions against the Libyan government and to immunize the state from any further civil claims.

The deadly 1988 attack on Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York City killed 270 people, including 190 Americans, when it fell over Lockerbie in Scotland.


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