Bashagha Forms New Government, Awaits Parliament Vote

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On Thursday, Libya’s Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha announced that he had completed the formation of his government, with a list being sent to lawmakers for a vote of confidence.

“The composition of the government is ready and will be transmitted to the Libyan Parliament on Thursday,” Bashagha’s press office said in a statement.

To form his government, he reportedly “conducted extensive consultations with all political parties, the Parliament, the High Council of State (HCS), and examined many proposals according to competence and efficiency,” the statement read.

Already suffering from divisions between competing institutions in the east and west, Libya recently found itself with two rival premiers vying for control. This comes after the country missed a crucial electoral deadline in December.

On 10 February, the Parliament unanimously approved the appointment of Bashagha as the new Prime Minister. He is set to replace the current PM of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba.

Bashagha has pledged to hold Libya’s elections within 14 months. Bashagha was the Minister of Interior at the former Government of National Accord (GNA). He was a member of the Misrata Military Council, and fought against Muammar Gaddafi during the 2011 uprising.

Dbaiba has warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government. He also announced a plan that is likely to be unrealistic, which is to hold elections in June.

He described any plan to form a transitional government as “reckless” and “a farce” that could lead to more internal fighting.

Observers fear that Libya will return to having two opposing governments, given Dbaiba’s refusal to cede power to a rival government.