Serraj says new ministers will be chosen based on their competence and integrity

(LibyaNN)- The war-weary country is plagued by water shortages and power blackouts that snuff out air-conditioners in the searing summer heat.

During a speech broadcast on the GNA's official Al-Rasmiya television channel, Sarraj backed Libyans' "legitimate right" to protest and said he was determined to fight corruption.

"New ministers will be chosen based on their competence, abilities and integrity," Sarraj said, vowing to take "exceptional measures" to carry out the reshuffle if it were opposed.

"We acknowledge... our share of responsibility" for the deterioration of the situation, he added, but also said the crisis "has been going on for years".

The situation has been compounded by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has depressed global oil prices and spread in the country despite social distancing measures.

The protests began days after the country's warring rival administrations announced separately that they would cease all hostilities and hold nationwide elections.

Stephanie Williams, spokeswoman for the UN mission in Libya, admitted to the existence of financial bribes at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunis and that it has been turned over to the the head of the U.N.

The spokesperson for the UN mission, in a statement on the social network Facebook, confirmed that the United Nations will not allow the parties to the conflict in Libya to interrupt the political dialogue, indicating that many dissuasive measures will be taken to do so.

Previously, several members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum had filed a complaint with the UN Support Mission in Libya, calling for the suspension of the membership of those involved in corrupt practices. 

The complaint also calls for the suppression of the use of political money and bribery of conference participants to support certain parties in winning the agreement.

Libyans have been marching in Tripoli in protest against deteriorating living conditions and corruption, amid a heavy security presence.

The demonstrators, who included teenagers and children, marched in the capital and converged on Martyrs' Square.

They are angry about the extended shortages of power, water and fuel, and demand that corrupt officials be put on trial.

There is no electricity, no water, the cost of living is high, there are no salaries," said a woman who took part in the march. "Today we called for the reform and improvement of the living conditions of the Libyan people, the cleansing of government institutions from the corrupted," explained a protester.

 

The demonstration took place even after Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), sought to appease protesters on Monday by announcing he would conduct a cabinet reshuffle.