Libya's PM is threatening to resign and threatens war

The embattled Libyan prime minister has warned against the possibility of a new transitional regime being appointed in order to spark chaos in the Mediterranean country that has been in turmoil for over a decade.

Libya's PM is threatening to resign and threatens war

Late Monday evening, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah addressed Libyans. He reiterated his determination to hand power over only to an elected government. He laid out a plan that seemed unrealistic to hold elections in June.

Dbeibah called any attempt to establish an interim government "reckless" as well as a "farce" which could lead to more conflict. Dbeibah was referring specifically to the House of Representatives' ongoing efforts to confirm a transitional government headed by Fathi Bashaga, Prime Minister-designate.

He said, "I will not accept in any form to hand over power to chaos." He stated that an election was the only solution.

The failure of Libya to hold its first presidental election under his watch is the reason for Dbeibah's replacement. It is a significant blow to international efforts for peace in Libya, an oil-rich Mediterranean country that has seen ten years of turmoil.

The original date for the presidential vote was Dec. 24, but it was delayed due to disputes between rival factions over laws governing elections and controversial presidential hopefuls. The mandate of Dbeibah's government was ended Dec. 24, according to lawmakers.

An east-based parliament named Bashaga earlier this month, a powerful former minister of the interior from Misrata. This week, he must submit his cabinet to the parliament. Bashaga's appointment was part a plan to hold elections in the next 14-months.

Monday night's speech, which was eight pages long, featured eight mentions of "war" or "wars." Dbeibah described Monday night's speech as "a failed maneuver" by which the parliament will be able to trigger "war and chaos."

Dbeibah claimed that he tried to negotiate with his rivals in order to avoid the current impasse, but his efforts were unsuccessful. One rival, Khalifa Hafter, was accused of inflaming "political chaos."

Hifter, who led an unsuccessful offensive to seize Tripoli's capital from rival militias in 2019, did not immediately comment.

Stephane Dujarric, U.N. spokesperson, stated Tuesday that the U.N. wanted "for Libyan leaders, to take decisions through consensus and to establish framework, but also to keep in mind best interests of the Libyan population, particularly those who bravely registered to vote."

He stated that Stephanie Williams, the secretary general's special advisor on Libya, was still in consultation with key players and was in Tunis Monday with some ambassadors.

Bashaga, like Dbeibah, hails from Misrata. He proposed a four-point plan for a simultaneous parliamentary and referendum on constitutional amendments. After the permanent constitution is drafted by the new parliament, a presidential election would follow. He didn't give a date for the presidential election.

Dbeibah called for a "true national movement" in order to win over Libyans fed up with war and chaos.

Anas el Gomati, director at the Sadeq Institute in Libya, stated that Dbeibah's plan mirrors the political conflict. He said that it is primarily intended to replace Aguila Saleh as Parliament Speaker. Saleh is Dbeibah's most fierce rival and the primary force behind his government's replacement.

He stated that if Bashaga tries to force through another parallel government, which is allied with Hifter, war could break out and further delay elections.

Since 2014's disputed legislative vote, Libya has not been able to hold elections. This caused the county to split over years between rival administrations that were backed by foreign governments.

Since the NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi, the oil-rich North African nation was devastated by conflict.


 

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