Bashagha initiates consultations to form government

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Fathi Bashagha, who was recently appointed interim prime minister by Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament to lead the country to elections last week, has launched talks to form a new government, he said in a video posted on Facebook on Sunday.

In his statement, Bashagha said that he promised not to run as a candidate in the election and that he would transfer power through peaceful and constitutional means.

He claimed that his initial talks with the military and security units were positive and that he had initiated consultations with Parliament and the Prime Minister.

Bashagha noted that the caretaker Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has been a person against war and is a respected and civilized individual, saying he believes the former will peacefully transfer power for the sake of democracy.

Parliament in eastern Libya appointed Bashagha as the country’s new prime minister on Thursday.

However, Dbeibah rejected the move and promised to remain in office until national elections are held.

Both Bashagha and Dbeibah have the support of rival armed groups in the Libyan capital.

The UN has continued to support Dbeibah after the House vote. But the UN said on Friday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had noted Parliament’s move to appoint Bashagha and a move by parliament along with the HCS to chart a revised path to elections.

Stephanie Williams, the UN Special Adviser in Libya, said that free and fair elections in Libya should be held “in the shortest possible time”, as she met with both Dbeibah and Bashagha.

Libya’s elections were scheduled for December 24 but were postponed due to disagreements between political rivals. No new date for the vote has been agreed yet.

Libyans hope the election will help end the armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.

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