Rival Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed by the parliament of Eastern pro-Putist General Khalifa Haftar, said he would establish his government in the city of Sirte after clashes broke out during his attempt to place his government in Tripoli.
Bashagha said he believed in the democratic process and the peaceful transfer of government. He said his government would start working from Sirte and enter Tripoli only in peaceful ways.
Clashes broke out in Tripoli between armed groups loyal to Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and rival leader Bashagha, who was recently appointed prime minister by the Tobruk-based parliament.
Bashagha reached the capital on Tuesday night to take control of the Dbeibah government, which refused to do so.
However, a security source told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Bashagha was forced to leave the capital after violent clashes were reported between the two sides.
At the same time, Algeria is following with concern the latest developments in the “brother country Libya” after the conflicts in Tripoli, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Algeria also called for restraint, urging Libyan parties “to refrain from escalating tensions”, stressing that “for a democratic and modern country, Libya’s best interests should be a priority.”
For more than two months, there have been two governments in Libya: the national unity government led by Dbeibeh and the one that was granted confidence in early March by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.
Dbeibah had previously said that he would only hand over authority to a government that comes through an “elected parliament”, which raised concerns that the oil-rich country could slip back into a civil war.
Dbeibah was installed a year ago through a UN-backed process and says his government remains valid and that he will only relinquish power after a rescheduled election that he says he will hold in June.
Parliament has stated that Dbeibah’s term of office expired when the December elections did not take place as planned, and the House has instead chosen Bashagha to lead a new transition with elections to follow next year.
Parliament’s position is supported by the East-based Putist general Khalifa Haftar, who waged a 14-month war against Tripoli from 2019 to 2020. Armed factions in the capital and western regions appear divided over the crisis, with some saying on Tuesday that they opposed to install a new government.
Bashagha, a former interior minister, said he was determined to hold elections within the time frame set by parliament next year, adding that he wanted to reach an agreement between rival political institutions on the issue.
Disputes over basic rules for the election led to the collapse of the planned vote in December.
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