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A New Dictator Is Born In Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya | Faraj Aljarih

On Saturday, the Libyan Investment Authority of the Presidential Council issued a decision, following a meeting with Fayez al-Sarraj, appointing a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood as a member of the LIA Board of Directors.

LIA Member of the Board of Trustees!

Regardless of appointing a hardline Islamic group member in a leadership position in a multi-billion dollar institution, the Libyan Investment Authority’s decision indicated that it came after a meeting with Al-Sarraj as “LIA Member of the Board of Trustees;” a new title added to the Al-Sarraj long list of titles and positions.

Libyan Investment Authority Logo

 

Prime Minister of the Government National Accord!

Fayez al-Sarraj moves under several titles. Along with being the “President of the Presidential Council,” according to the Skhirat Libyan Political Agreement, which was never adopted by the elected Libyan Parliament, al-Sarraj is also the “Prime Minister of the Government National Accord;” A government that is never elected by Libyans, nor given the confidence by their elected representatives in the internationally recognized House of Representatives.

Al-Sarraj chairing a government meeting

 

Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army!

In addition to this title, al-Sarraj granted himself, in isolation from the rest of the presidential council members, the status of “Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army.” Under this title, al-Sarraj issue tens of promotions and appointments to military and civilian personnel in leadership positions in the military establishment.

Al-Sarraj meeting as Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army with military officers

 

Defense Minister!

Al-Sarraj, who says he rejects the military rule and military dictatorship, has given himself another title: the “Defense Minister” in the government that he heads. Last September, he issued Resolution No. 270 of 2018 by which the President of the Presidential Council (himself) takes over the tasks and powers of the Minister of Defense.

Al-Sarraj in a foreign visit to discuss military issues as Minister of Defense

 

Chairman of LAAHCO General Assembly!

Is al-Sarraj satisfied? Not yet. He has also appointed himself “Chairman of the General Assembly of the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company,” which is Libya’s largest civil aviation organization. LAAHCO is one of the government organizations of the Ministry of Transportation in the Government of National Accord authorized by a decision of the Presidential Council.

LAAHCO Logo

 

Ultimate Powers!

Al-Sarraj also granted himself several powers, most notably appointing ministers and agents, appointing and dismissing Libya’s ambassadors and consuls abroad, and appointing and dismissing senior state officials in sovereign bodies and institutions and security agencies.

Al-Sarraj during a meeting with a number of security and military leaders in Tripoli

All these powers were granted without reference to the rest of the members of the Presidential Council. This led to the suspension of a number of members of the Presidential Council for their membership, such as Vice Presidents of the Presidential Council Fathi Al-Majbari, Ali Faraj Qatrani, and Musa Al-Koni, along with Minister Omar Al-Aswad. They all mentioned that Al-Sarraj made decisions without reference to the members of the presidential assembly in accordance with the Libyan Political Agreement.

A World Record!

“Fayez al-Sarraj sat a world record in the number of positions he holds. He is the first politician in the history of Libya to take over this number of titles and positions. He has even surpassed the positions held by the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and the positions held by King Idriss al-Senussi after the independence of Libya in the middle of the last century.” Says Mohamed Faitori, a Political Analyst and activist.

A Joke on Social Media!

The multi-titles of al-Sarraj became a source of jokes and mocking on Libyan social media.

A Libyan blogger wrote on Facebook asking about the amount of salaries al-Sarraj receives each month in return for taking over all these positions.


Another activist sarcastically wrote about a meeting between the President of the Presidential Council Fayez al-Sarraj, the Defense Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Fayez al-Sarraj. He added that the meeting had ended without results because of the sharp differences between the meeting parties.

https://twitter.com/K_Ammar2/status/1038191643516657664

While another wrote: “Excellent step frankly from al-Sarraj to al-Sarraj”

One of the pages on Facebook, which is followed by hundreds of thousands of Libyans, published a picture in which al-Sarraj sets with himself and wrote ” al-Sarraj meets with the new Defense Minister”.


With all these positions and titles that al-Sarraj gave himself, his government has not done much to change the situation in Libya, and its presence is almost non-existent on the ground, while armed militias still control Tripoli, with the spread of organized crime and chaos.

At the same time, the international community continues to recognize him as the legitimate President of Libya, on the basis of the Libyan political agreement that the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and all rival parties to the Libyan conflict said several times that it has massively failed since 2015.

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