The Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Aqeela Saleh announced the priorities of the new government headed by Fathi Bashagha. This was during a speech at the Parliamentary session, in which the government ministers were sworn in.
Saleh congratulated the new government for gaining the confidence of the Parliament. He told the new PM that there is a “list of priorities that represent the needs of citizen’s, and the source of their suffering for the last decade.” He stressed that this should be worked on as soon as the government assumes its duties.
In his speech, Saleh reviewed the list of priorities that the government must undertake in the service, political, economic, healthcare, and foreign policy fields. He stressed that “the Libyan people are in urgent need of a service government capable of alleviating their suffering, as soon as possible.”
Regarding the political priorities of the Bashagha government, Saleh explained that “it falls upon the government to ensure the necessary security, social, and economic conditions to create a suitable environment for organising the elections in accordance with the established roadmap.”
He noted that, “this means removing the force majeure, that impeded holding the elections on 24 December 2021”.
Saleh added that it must “reform the national identity system, and put in place a mechanism to ensure the validity of practical certificates, and documents required to run in elections or assume sovereign positions.”
With regard to improving living conditions and providing services, Saleh stressed the need for the government to, “address the problems of electricity cuts and water shortages, work to provide liquidity, resolve issues between banks in the east, west, and south of the country, restructure the Libyan economy, and diversify sources of income.”
As for the healthcare sector, the Speaker called on the government to “reorganise treatment abroad, develop medical centers, educational hospitals, and village clinics, establish and equip treatment centers and oncology centers, develop effective programs to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as develop well-thought-out plans to implement a comprehensive health insurance system for all citizens, pay attention to people with special needs, and equip rehabilitation and care centers.”
In the education sector, Saleh called on the government to work on “maintaining, establishing, and rehabilitating educational institutions.” He called for textbooks and modern educational instruments to be provided, support for universities, aid for students studying abroad, the disbursement of scholarships and tuition fees on time, and following up their educational progress.”
Saleh reiterated the need to “unify and develop state institutions, while retaining the branches of institutions and ministries, and grant them the ability to provide services directly. He called for the distribution of public institutions and companies to the various regions, under the umbrella of an effective local administration, de-centralise decision-making, care for retirees, and provide job opportunities for youths, graduates, and job seekers.”
He urged the government to “develop a plan to provide housing for young people through an appropriate study.” He demanded it to also, “fight corruption in state institutions, deter violators, and bring them to justice.”
Saleh told the new PM that, “the Libyan citizen needs to see the truth between the volume of expenditures and achievements on the ground.” He pledged that the Parliament will issue all laws and decisions to help the government perform its duties.
He said that, “the role of the state is no longer only protection, but its main function is to serve citizens, improve their living conditions, and secure their freedom and well-being. This means that it is a caregiving state, and the government will follow its citizens.”
Saleh stressed the need for the government’s foreign policy to be, “based on national interests, rejecting foreign interference in Libyan affairs, and building a country that is respected by the world. This must be an open, honest, and reliable partner with a solid economic and social basis. We should be implementing agricultural policies that limit imports as much as possible, and adopt a policy of active industrialisation, based on progress in industries that depend on advanced technology.”
“Working on building institutions is the most important stage in the state-building process.” He added that the absence of these institutions means remaining in a state of confusion, and that “there is no development or economic reform without internal stability.”
“The focus should be on ensuring security and justice to achieve political stability through political forces, security, establishing a mechanism for accountability, and oversight. As well as supporting the independence of the judiciary, as it is the real guarantor of rights and freedoms,” he added.
Saleh stressed the need to make optimal use of the state’s resources, and to take into account the higher interests and the interests of those in need.
He also emphasised the need to put the right people in decision-making circles, and for equal opportunities in choosing competent leaders from across the country. Saleh noted the importance of maintaining the citizen’s right to information on the government’s progress, and the encouragement of popular participation in decision-making.
The Parliament Speaker said,“the separation of powers is to preserve society, prevent tyranny and protect freedoms. Each authority must abide by the limits of its jurisdiction with full cooperation with the Presidential Council, and the Judicial Council and consultation with the High Council of State (HCS).”
Saleh noted that all institutions, and all authorities should “work towards national reconciliation and holding the elections as soon as possible.”
At the end of his speech, Saleh congratulated MP’s who joined the government for gaining the confidence of their peers, hoping them success in their new duties. He praised the cooperation of the HCS, and its keenness to achieve the intra-Libyan consensus.