Libyan lawmakers approve new rival government: Statement

AP , Tuesday 1 Mar 2022

Libyan lawmakers confirmed a new transitional government Tuesday, a move that is likely to lead to parallel administrations and fuel mounting tensions in a country that has been mired in conflict for the past decade.

Libya s eastern-based parliament
File Photo: Libya s Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah addresses lawmakers during the first reunited parliamentarian session in the coastal city of Sirte east of the capital on March 9, 2021. AFP

Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha submitted his Cabinet to the east-based House of Representatives, where 92 of 101 lawmakers in attendance approved it, during a vote that was broadcast live.

The appointment of Bashagha last month, a powerful former interior minister from the western city of Misrata, is part of a roadmap that also involves constitutional amendments and sets the date for elections within 14 months.

The move inflamed divisions among Libyan factions and raised fears that fighting could return after more than a year and a half of relative calm.

Embattled Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has taken a defiant stance against efforts to replace his government.

He has repeatedly vowed that he will only hand over power to an elected government and says parliamentary elections should be held in June.

The effort to replace Dbeibah stems from Libya's failure to hold its first presidential election during his watch.

The presidential vote was originally planned for Dec. 24, but it was postponed over disputes between rival factions on laws governing the elections and controversial presidential hopefuls.

Lawmakers have argued that the mandate of Dbeibah's government ended on Dec. 24.

The vote's delay was a major blow to international efforts to end a decade of chaos in the oil-rich Mediterranean nation.

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