Skyrocketing Salaries for the Boycotting Self-Proclaimed MPs in Tripoli – Al Marsad

Dissenting and boycotting MPs in the internationally-unrecognized parallel House of Representatives in Tripoli, headed by Sadiq al-Kuhaili, unlawfully and unilaterally raised the ceiling of their salaries as self-proclaimed “members” of the Parliament. Their salaries are to be the highest among all councils in Libya.

[Libya, 20 November 2019] – This latest move amounts to yet another blatant looting of public funds. It adds to the ongoing vicious circle of squandering the Libyan state’s resources, which has never stopped since 2012 on the pretext that they are elected bodies, as the UN envoy Ghassan Salamé once described in one of his meetings before the Libyan National Army advanced last April towards Tripoli to liberate it from terrorist and outlaw groups. Terrorist, outlaw groups and militias continue to rob the livelihood of the Libyan people with impunity, and create a fluid state of anarchy and financial corruption.

The new salary scale was set at 20,224 Libyan Dinars, while the salary ceiling for those meeting in Tobruk in the seat of the internationally-recognized Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) is LYD 16,000 and slightly lower than the previous General National Congress (GNC). Such financial violations are not only relevant to the issue of the salaries; some of those self-styled MPs have never joined Parliament in the first place and have never sworn the constitutional oath, yet they receive salaries as members of the Libyan House of Representatives.

Al Marsad obtained a document showing a payroll statement from an official employee at the parallel House of Representatives in Tripoli (see below). It shows that the boycotting MPs who were no longer members of the legitimate Libyan House of Representatives, according to the executive regulations organizing the parliamentary work—have unlawfully received salaries for the last month of October.

In fact, by virtue of boycotting the HoR for the last four years and abstaining from attending a certain number of consecutive sessions they voluntarily waived their official status as members of the Libyan House of Representatives. Throughout the past four years, they did not hold their parliamentary status until last May when they resurfaced out of the blue.

Senior figures from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) are among the boycotters, including Saad al-Jazawi, an official in the office of the MB’s General Rapporteur and his notorious colleague, Aly Abuzaakoukthe Foreign Minister at the former unrecognized Government of National Salvation.

The payroll roster is for the month of October 2019, and the total allocation reaches approximately LYD 828,000 based on a monthly salary of LYD 20,000 per MP. Furthermore, some MPs have received more than one salary under the false pretext that they have not received one or more salaries that have accumulated over the previous months.

In the same context, this disclosure indicates that the number of members of the House of Representatives who convened in Tripoli does not exceed fifty MPs, contrary to what some media and news reports claim that the number of boycotting MPs exceeding a hundred, thus allegedly reaching the legal and constitutional quorum that entitles them to hold sessions and take decisions. Sources also claimed that some boycotters have already claimed their “right” to receive massive amounts, in salaries and other allowances, for a period that extends over four years although they have boycotted the Parliament throughout the claim period and have never participated in the stipulated parliamentary sessions.

Khalid al-Mishri, Chairman of the advisory High Council of the State (HCS), member of the General National Congress (GNC) since 2012, and senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, claims that the parallel House of Representatives in Tripoli is the legitimate Parliament in accordance with the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that was signed in the Moroccan city of Skhirat in 2015. However, his narrative can be easily refuted as the LPA itself provides for the return of the boycotting parliamentarians on the day of signing the agreement. Furthermore, many of them did not recognize the LPA as they had their parliamentary status stripped off and remained as such until May 2019 at a time when they considered the Parliament dissolved, and its decisions as void, despite the free and direct election that established it in 2014 as the sole and legitimate legislative authority in the country.

© Al Marsad English (2019)



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