TRIPOLI, July 9 The Libyan Investment Authority
(LIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the North African oil
producer, has appointed a new chief after his predecessor
stepped down over a controversial political law, according to a
statement on Wednesday.
Former Oil Minster Abdulrahman Benyezza has taken over as
acting head of the fund, the LIA said. His predecessor
Abdulmagid Breish quit after an investigation under a law which
bans people from taking a public office if they had a function
in the regime of late strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who was deposed
and killed by rebels after an eight-month uprising in 2011.
"Mr. Breish has therefore stepped aside, appealed the
decision and remains confident of the eventual outcome," the LIA
said in a statement.
The law has been welcomed by some Libyans who suffered under
Gaddafi, but is seen as a headache for the government because
the country has few experienced technocrats after four decades
of one-man rule.
Libya badly needs stability and an end to chaos which has
plagued the country since Gaddafi's overthrow. Top officials
frequently get changed, hampering developing the desert country.
The LIA is managing the country's overseas assets, such as
stakes in banks like as Italy's Unicredit. The country
had total foreign assets and reserves worth around $109 billion
in June, according to the central bank.
(Reporting by Feras Bosalum and Ulf Laessing; editing by G