House of Representatives fails to approve national budget for a fifth time

Libya's Parliament continues to argue that a budget of the astronomical size being requested is not reasonable for am interim government that will have to leave office in just four months

House Speaker continues to call for the Government to reduce the figure it’s requesting to a more reasonable number. [Photo: HoR]
According to the Parliament’s official spokesman Abdellahh Belhag, the Libyan Parliament failed to approve the general budget submitted by the Government of National Unity (GNU) for the fifth time, sending it back to the government for more amendments and reducing the figure requested by the GNU.

The session resumed on Tuesday after being suspended the day before due to the Prime Minister’s prior commitments, and debates took place between the parliament’s Planning and Finance Committee and the Ministerial Committee formed by Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Debaiba to amend the draft budget law.

The spokesperson for the House of Representatives also stated that the Planning and Finance Committee would present its final report on the draft budget at next Monday’s session. He also invited all MPs to the meeting on Monday to discuss the budget law, the draft direct presidential election law, and the distribution of constituencies.

Members slammed the Prime Minister in the second and third chapters of the budget and discussed the GNU’s work since taking office in March, the General Electricity Company’s (GECOL) failure to address the electricity issue the government’s COVID-19 effort.

Libya’s Parliament has repeatedly halted the national budget approval session over the last month and a half, bringing the country’s economy to a halt as the Government of National Unity is unable to meet the bulk of its declared targets given the lack of funds.

Members of the public have taken to social media to express their growing dissatisfaction with the Parliament’s continued delays in approving the budget, with some claiming it is done on purpose to prevent the GNU from succeeding and others calling for the budget to be approved quickly so the nation’s public sector can resume normal operations.

As it stands, despite continued efforts to improve matters by the Government of National Unity, Libya’s electricity issue has worsened, the country’s national budget continues to stall affecting the economical situation negatively and a majority of governmental institutions are yet to be united.

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