Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister by the Eastern House of Representatives, said he would like to lead the government from Tripoli but will do so from Sirte as it is currently not possible.
Bashagha noted that Sirte connects the country’s east and west to the south, saying that the city is relatively neutral and free from hostilities.
“We would like to carry out our tasks without shedding a single drop of blood from Tripoli, but if this is not possible, then we can do it from Sirte,” he said on Wednesday.
Bashagha also said they had launched an initiative aimed at reuniting the Libyan people, accusing Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah of blocking the country’s path to elections and extending his term.
Interim Prime Minister Dbeibah was installed a year ago through a UN-backed process, saying his government remains valid and will only relinquish power after a rescheduled election 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 backed by Eastern Putz 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 they opposed parliament’s position. move 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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