Libya council in showdown with Dbeibah's government

AFP , Monday 14 Nov 2022

A key state body in Libya accused the interim government of prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah on Monday of preventing it from meeting, reviving political tensions in a country that has seen a decade of violence.

Khalid Al-Mishri
Head of Libya s High Council of State Khalid Al-Mishri. Photo: HCS


The High Council of State's accusations came after armoured vehicles from an armed group commanded by Dbeibah's administration surrounded a major hotel in the capital Tripoli, preventing council members from entering, according to images broadcast by local media.

The council's head, Khaled al-Mishri, said in a video statement on Facebook that the body had been due to vote on a constitutional basis for elections.

Polls had been set for December 2021 to elect a replacement for Dbeibah's government, but were indefinitely postponed.

Mishri said the hotel had cancelled the reservation of a conference room, citing "government instructions".

He added that "no (other) hotel has agreed to rent us" a conference hall.

The meeting was also set to discuss "the unification of executive power", implying that it would cover the fate of Dbeibah's government.

Libya has been plagued by violence since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi's regime in 2011.

Mishri said Monday's move was "the first time since the February 17 revolution (of 2011) that a head of government has tried to prevent a sovereign institution from doing its work."

Dbeibah was appointed as part of a United Nations-guided peace process following the last major battle in Libya in 2020, but the eastern-based parliament and military general Khalifa Haftar say his mandate has expired.

In March, parliament appointed a new government to take his place, but the rival administration has failed to install itself in Tripoli.

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