The Head of Libya’s High Council of State (HCS), Khaled Al-Mishri, supported the Parliament’s decision to appoint Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister succeeding Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba.
In a televised speech, Al-Mishri said that the vote of confidence last March for the Al-Dbaiba government stipulated that the term of the Government of National Unity (GNU) “should be a maximum of December 24th, 2021.”
He added that the appointment of the influential former Minister of the Interior, Fathi Bashagha, to succeed Al-Dbaiba, was based on law and based on “a consensus between the HCS and the House of Representatives (HoR).”
Al-Mishri accused Al-Dbaiba’s government of “launching a directed campaign against the HoR and the Supreme Council of the State.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that armed groups gathered in Tripoli, coming from Misurata, to support Al-Dbaiba, who refuses to transfer the power.
The HoR considers that the mandate granted to the Al-Dbaiba government expired, while Al-Dbaiba asserts that it will not transfer power except to an elected government.
Libya finds itself with two Prime Ministers in an institutional predicament that is not new, after the country was ruled for years by two competing governments based in the East and West.
On Thursday, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh, announced that they have unanimously appointed Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister. He is set to replace the current Prime Minister of the GNU, Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba.
Bashagha hails from the city of Misrata, and was the Minister of Interior of the previous Government of National Accord (GNA). He was a member of the Misrata Military Council, and fought against Moammar Gaddafi during the 2011 uprising.
However, Al-Dbaiba said in a speech that he would not hand over power until after elections. “Only elections will end the transitional stages,” he claimed.