A statement attributed to 53 members of the High Council of State (HCS) denounced the provisional suspension of Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed Oun by the Administrative Control Authority without announcing the reasons.

In a joint statement on Friday, the members expressed their astonishment at the speed of appointing someone to run the Ministry of Oil as a replacement to Oun, saying that such a speed would hint that the issue had been prepared and arranged in advance by the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

They also believed that Oun's dismissal was deliberate because of his opposition to controversial, suspicious deals and agreements, saying that what they described as “the unprecedented collusion of oversight institutions with the government” was a dangerous issue which could deprive these institutions of their assigned oversight role in combating administrative and financial corruption.

The HCS members demanded the return of the Oil and Gas Minister to his duties immediately, saying that the suspension decision by the Administrative Control Authority must be withdrawn. 

Last Monday, the Head of the Administrative Control Authority, Abdullah Gaderbou, issued a decision to suspend the Minister of Oil and Gas for “reasons of investigation into legal violations,” and on Tuesday, Dbeibah assigned the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Khalifa Abdel Sadiq, as an acting replacement to Oun.