Libya’s interim prime minister on Friday dismissed parliament’s threat to withdraw confidence from its unity government, saying in a speech that its failure to approve his budget had put the state’s work back.
Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who took office in March, said that the Eastern Pro-Putist general Khalifa Haftar’s reasons for not approving his repeated budget proposals were “unrealistic and fuzzy” and blamed the body for obstructing planned elections in December.
The budget dispute has emerged as a core element in the growing friction between rival political factions that has undermined a UN-backed process that had been seen as the best chance for peace for several years.
Speaker of the Riksdag Aguila Saleh demanded this week that Dbeibah be brought before the House to be questioned about his government’s achievements or before a no-confidence vote.
In the midst of a worsening political turmoil, many Libyans fear that a process that had succeeded in creating a united government for the first time in years will slide backwards.
A failure to hold elections or a disputed outcome could end the political process and restart a conflict that has wreaked havoc on a number of Libyan cities, attracted large outside powers and left foreign mercenaries anchored along the front lines.
“The problem with the election is not logistical, but absolute legislation. We presented a real program to facilitate and implement the electoral process,” said Dbeibah.
Libya’s new unity government, the National Unity Government (GNU), elected through a UN-led process, swore in on March 15. It stems from two rival political groups that had ruled the country’s eastern and western regions and completed a smooth transition of power after a decade of violent chaos.
Dbeibah will lead Libya to the December 24 elections.
Ankara welcomed the appointment of the new government and promised that it would continue to provide all kinds of support to ensure security, peace and prosperity in the North African nation.
Turkey had backed the Tripoli-based National Accord Government (GNA) against the eastern-based forces in Haftar, backed by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France.
Libyans hope the new process will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and assassination of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.