Bashagha Signs a Lobbying Contract in DC for US$300,000 with the BGR Group – Al Marsad

The former Minister of Interior in former Government of National Accord (GNA), has hired a new Washington lobbying firm, the BGR Group, after his last contract with Brownstein Hyatt was abruptly terminated days after signing it for unknown reasons.

The new lobbing and PR contract signed by Fathi Bashagha was reported by the website Foreign Lobby Report (FLR). The contract is for monthly fee of US$50,000 and for 6 months, bringing it to a total of US$300,000.

NEW CONTRACT WITH BGR GROUP

BGR is expected to provide lobbying PR services to Bashagha. According to the new filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the BGR Group will “engage and facilitate communications with the media, relevant officials and decision-makers in the US.”

In an emailed statement to FLR, BGR said: “Bashagha is building support for elections in December as an important step in keeping Libya on track for a stable and prosperous future,” adding, “BGR will help Mr. Bashagha make this case to government officials and the media in the US.”

BGR founding partner Ed Rogers said in an emailed statement: “We’re honored to represent Minister Bashagha, a leading advocate of democratic elections in Libya,” and that Bashagha was “committed to a better future for Libya and we are eager to help secure U.S. support for the upcoming elections.”

BASHAGHA ALSO HIRED A EUROPEAN LOBBYING FIRM

It was also reported in late July by Africa Intelligence that Bashagha had also hired the European lobby firm J5 (a member of Avisa Partners) for a six-month contract to promote himself in Europe.

The exact amount paid by Bashagha is not known given that lobbying and PR firms in Europe are not bound by the same regulatory needs as FARA in the US, but it was said the sum was “big” because it involved pushing Bashagha’s name in number of European countries.

BASHAGHA’S CHEQUERED BACKGROUND

The statement by the BGR was met with amusement by Libyan analysts, who pointed that just like the previous lobbying company Bashagha had hired, Brownstein Hyatt, that the BGR Group was equally it seemed oblivious to his involvement with Fajr Libya’s 2014 invasion and coup of the elected government in Tripoli, and his warlord status given his ties to Islamist militias. He is also responsible, as Minister of Interior under the former GNA, of bringing Turkish forces into Libya through the illegal MOU signed between Sarraj and Erdogan, and also importing over 15,000 Syrian mercenaries.

Furthermore, the Audit Reports of 2019 had accused Bashagha’s Interior Ministry of massive corruption and major financial violations.

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Bashagha, a pro-Turkey loyalist, is known to be aligned to the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, during the meetings of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) to select an interim Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party had declared Bashagha to be their candidate.

BASHAGHA’S LPDF DREAMS DASHED

Many also argued that Bashagha was a favourite of Stephanie Williams, but that the entire LPDF framework went badly wrong when Bashagha was defeated in the internal LPDF vote to Abdul Hamid Dbaiba. Since then, Bashagha has been busy frequented international capitals to seek support for his candidacy.

According to the FLR, a US State Department official told them: “The US goal is a sovereign, stable, unified, and secure Libya with no foreign interference, and a democratically elected government that supports human rights and development, and that is capable of combating terrorism within its borders.”

And also, given that the 24 December elections were approaching, that it was important to “avoid losing the progress made since the ceasefire” and that there was an “urgent need for Libyan leaders to come up with creative compromises on an electoral framework.”

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)