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Libya’s Sarraj Accused of ‘Failure’ in Managing Virus Crisis

Libya’s Sarraj Accused of ‘Failure’ in Managing Virus Crisis

Wednesday, 1 April, 2020 - 09:30
Salah Badi, Abdurrahman Shater
Cairo - Jamal Jawhar

Internal disputes pitting the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, against his allies have surfaced as the country struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak.


Some politicians are accusing Sarraj of failure in managing the crisis.


Sarraj had earmarked half a billion dinars (the dollar equals 4.95 dinars) for municipalities. However, many cities said they hadn’t received any financial aid and threatened to cut ties with the GNA after giving Sarraj 48 hours to deliver the funds.


Many observers said that the anti-coronavirus budget was primarily announced to prevent GNA ranks from defecting.


High-profile Libyan militia leader, Salah Badi, who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury, accused the GNA and its Presidential Council, also headed by Sarraj, of corruption.


Badi said that the GNA has exploited national dismay and the preoccupation of “revolutionaries” to take crucial decisions without considering public will.


He backed 23 mayors in their decision to grant Sarraj 48 hours to deliver on allocated funds or face the severance of ties.


Badi described the ultimatum as a “daring move on the right path.”


Abdurrahman Shater, a member of Libya's High Council of State, also criticized Sarraj and the GNA.


“Eyes are locked on Sarraj, awaiting his response to the rage facing his policies,” Shater said while ruling out a radical change from the GNA.


In a tweet, Shater said that the legitimacy protecting Sarraj’s rule is no longer of value as many countries have withdrawn their backing. He added that Sarraj is losing his supporter base in Libya too.


“Sarraj now faces massive public rage because of his mismanagement and neglect of the coronavirus,” Shater said.


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