Libya’s parliament planned to vote on new ones

Libya’s parliament said on Thursday that it would hold a session next week in which it would likely vote to confirm a new interim government, even though the current administration has promised it will not hand over power.

One year after a unity government was installed in Tripoli and two months after a planned election was called off due to discussions about the rules, the dispute over how to proceed to overthrow Libya is back in disarray.

Former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, the man appointed by parliament to form the new government, said on Thursday he was ready to propose a cabinet and a House spokesman said a session would be held on Monday.

However, the current Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who took office through a UN-backed process, has said he will only hand over power after an election and this week he said he plans to hold a nationwide vote this summer.

Accuses Dbeibah of corruption and says his term expired on December 24 when the election was scheduled to take place; Dbeibah denies this, saying that the parliament itself is no longer valid eight years after it was elected.

Although Parliament also says it is planning a referendum on a new interim constitution and elections after that, few analysts expect a national referendum soon.

The battle between Libya’s rival political institutions is now threatening to bring the country back into conflict after the last major battle ended in 2020.

In recent weeks, opposing armed factions have been mobilized in the capital, Tripoli, and analysts say the political crisis could trigger clashes with potential repercussions across the country.

Libya has enjoyed little peace or security since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Moammar Gadhafi and it split after the last national election in 2014 between warring administrations that ruled Tripoli and the east.

Parliament was most at odds with the conflict with the East Libyan National Army (LNA) of Putin General Khalifa Haftar against the then internationally backed government in Tripoli, an administration that included Bashagha.

Eastern forces were supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, while the Tripoli government was supported by Turkey.

However, it is not clear if any new conflict would take place in the same line as the previous one, where Libyan political factions and armed groups have reconfigured their ties with both former enemies and allies.

Libya’s future prime minister, appointed by parliament from the war-torn country as it seeks to overthrow the interim Dbeibah, also said on Thursday that his line-up was ready.

“Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha announces that his government is ready and will be presented to the House of Representatives” for a vote of confidence, Bashagha’s office said in a statement.

In his statement, Bashagha’s office said he had held “extensive consultations with all political actors”, including the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister.

The House of Representatives, based in eastern Libya since an outbreak in Tripoli in 2014, had elected Bashagha on February 10 to lead a new administration, replacing Dbeibah, which was appointed a year ago as part of UN-led peace efforts.

Parliament, led by Dbeibah and rival Aguila Saleh, had also approved a new 14-month roadmap for the presidential election.

The December polls, intended to help turn the tables on a decade of conflict since dictator Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011 in a NATO-backed uprising, were postponed amid bitter disagreements over their legal basis and who could stand it.

Bashagha’s statement did not say when the vote of confidence would take place, but the House of Representatives said it had planned a session for Monday, without saying what.

Dbeibah on Monday launched a tribute to the “hegemonic political class”, in particular the Eastern Parliament, whose “careless” decision to replace him “will inevitably lead to war.” The UN and world leaders have called on all sides to remain calm.

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