Libyan HoR Speaker: Government approval could be delayed over bribery claims

The Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Aqila Saleh, has told The Times newspaper that he had asked for the postponement of a parliamentary session on March 8 to approve the new interim government, while investigations were held into the bribery claims raised by the Panel of experts of the UN Security Council regarding the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum’s electoral process.

“If it is proven that votes were bought, this is a crime that cannot be ignored and its perpetrator cannot be allowed to benefit from it.” Saleh told The Times on Tuesday.

The Speaker of the HoR went on to say that he believed it was appropriate to delay the session until the report was made public, adding that if it indeed revealed that there had been bribes, then those who committed such a crime must be excluded.

Saleh said that the HoR, which itself had been divided between Tripoli and Tobruk, should take the appropriate measures once it received the report.

Meanwhile, the members of the newly elected executive authority in Libya, Presidential Council and Prime Minister, have called in a joint statement on the UN Panel of Experts to publish its investigation results into the allegations of bribes being paid to Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) members.

The executive authority members, Head of Presidential Council Mohammed Menfi, members Abdullah Al-Lafi, and Mossa Al-Koni, as well as the Prime Minister-elect Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, reaffirmed that anyone involved in breaking the law would be brought to justice, adding that the new executive authority is determined to unite institutions and achieve national reconciliation ahead of transparent, democratic elections.

“We are committed to the written pledges that we have made about combating corruption through all available legal means. We are not going to allow any obstructionists to take advantage of the current situation to lead the LPDF roadmap to failure and end the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom and better living conditions.” The statement added.

In an implied reference to an AFP report citing UN panel of experts about bribes being paid (150.000 to 500.000 dollars) to some Libyan Political Dialogue Forum members in Tunisia for votes for Dbeibah, the media office of the Government of National Unity said Monday that such allegations were an endeavor of fact-twisting by the media and Libyans had previously fallen for it many times, leading to the current fragmentation after conflicts and wars.

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