The Eastern House of Representatives said the government of Fathi Bashagha officially began work from the city of Sirte on Tuesday.
Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh claimed that the Bashagha government could not enter the capital “because Tripoli is under the control of armed groups.”
“The government has officially decided to take on its duties from Sirte to avoid bloodshed,” he added in a speech to parliament.
Parliament’s speaker said Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s government was refusing to hand over government premises in Tripoli to Bashagha’s cabinet.
“This is a clear violation of the Constitution and the law,” he claimed.
There was no comment from the Dbeibah government on Saleh’s statements.
For more than two months, there have been two governments in Libya: the national unity government led by Dbeibah and the one granted confidence in early March by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.
Dbeibah has previously said that he would only hand over authority to a government that comes through an “elected parliament”, which raises fears that the oil-rich country could slip back into civil war.
Parliament declared 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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