Libya conflict

Libya’s Dbeibah promises legislative elections by end of June

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Libya’s interim prime minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah reaffirmed Monday that he will only cede power to an elected government and announced a plan for legislative elections before the end of June, in the wake of an attempted ouster by parliament.

Already plagued by divisions between rival administrations in the east and west, Libya has found itself with two rival prime ministers in Tripoli after missing a crucial deadline for December elections.

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The parliament sitting in the east appointed former interior minister Fathi Bachagha to replace Dbeibah at the head of the interim government on February 10.

The deputies also voted for a new political roadmap calling for presidential elections within 14 months.

Dbeibah has insisted he will only cede power to an elected government, and in a televised address Monday evening launched into a diatribe against the “hegemonic political class”, in particular the eastern parliament, whose “reckless” decision to replace him “will inevitably lead to war.”

He in turn announced a new political roadmap which would begin with legislative elections “no later than June 24” – the date marking the end of the political process sponsored by the UN.

It is within this process that Dbeibah was appointed to head an interim government after years of war and division.

He was also tasked with organizing presidential and legislative elections – originally set to take place last December.

But persistent quarrels led to the postponement of the vote which the international community had hoped would finally stabilize the country.

In his speech on Monday, Dbeibah said that legislative elections would be followed by the drafting of a constitution, which would set the legal basis for the presidential poll, the date of which has not been specified.

In the meantime, his rival for the post of Prime Minister has until February 24 to form a government and submit it to parliament.

Plunged into chaos since the fall of the former regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya could again find itself with two parallel governments.

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