Libya’s unity government said it sacked four of its ministers for failing to do their duties, just three months after the joint body moved to Tripoli and assumed power.
The Government of National Accord said it had dismissed the four ministers for being absent: a sackable offence for being away from work more than 30 days.
The four ministers – all easterners – are Finance Minister Fakher Buferna, Economy & Industry Minister Abdelmatlub Abufarwa, Justice Minister Jumaa al-Drissi and State Minister for National Reconciliation Abdeljawad al-Obeidi.
It is understood that they were boycotting the GNA and effectively quit by refusing to work.
“The dismissed ministers were absent from their work and refused to take up their duties in the Government of National Accord… for over 30 days,” the GNA said in a statement on its website. They were officially dismissed from their posts on Thursday, it added.
One of them – Finance Minister Buferna – already declared at the time of his appointment back in February that he could not accept the position for “personal circumstances”.
The GNA Presidency Council will now have to appoint new ministers and reestablish the regional balance. Their government is roughly split into a 1/3 ratio of members from each of Libya’s three historic provinces – Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan – in an attempt to satisfy different constituencies.
But GNA-opponents in the east have been trying to prevent the GNA – which they see as illegitimate – from functioning. Lobby groups such as the National Sovereignty Block in the House of Representatives – Libya’s parliament anchored in the eastern city of Tobruk – have pressured eastern ministers to quit.
The HoR has yet to ratify the GNA or its chosen cabinet. GNA Prime Minister designate Faiez Serraj first presented the legislature a 32-man cabinet in the middle of January which was rejected for being too large. He then presented a slimmed down 18-man cabinet in mid-February but the legislature failed to hold a vote, as fighting and fisticuffs broke out in the sessions.