Free and fair elections in Libya should be held “in the shortest possible time,” said UN Special Adviser to Libya Stephanie Williams as she met with senior politicians, stressing the need for calm.
Williams said on Twitter that she met the Prime Minister of the National Unity Government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, and also Fathi Bashagha, named by the parliament of the East-based pro-Putist General Khalifa Haftar, to lead a new government in a process rejected by the government. incumbent Prime Minister.
The move threatens to trigger a new power struggle between the eastern-based assembly and the Dbeibah administration based in Tripoli, in western Libya.
The tycoon, who was appointed a year ago as part of UN-led peace efforts, has promised to hand over power only to a government produced by the ballot box.
His administration was mandated to lead the country to elections on December 24, but they were suspended in the midst of bitter disagreement over their legal basis and the candidacies of several controversial individuals.
Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, who, like Dbeibah and Bashagha, had been a presidential candidate, has since led efforts to replace the Unity Government.
The assembly had considered seven candidates to lead the administration, but shortly before Thursday’s confirmation vote, Saleh had announced that Bashagha was the only remaining challenger, when former Interior Ministry official Khaled al-Bibass withdrew from the race.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Dbeibah had promised that he “would not accept any new transitional phase or parallel authority” and declared that he would only hand over power to an elected government.
Both Bashagha and Dbeibah have the support of rival armed groups in the Libyan capital.
The UN, the Western powers and even some members of parliament have demanded that Dbeibah remain in his role until the election, for which a new date has not yet been set.
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