Bashagha Accuses Libya’s GNU of Sabotage

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Libya’s Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha accused the outgoing Government of National Unity (GNU) of abusing power, and preventing the new cabinet from performing its duties.

Bashagha sent an official letter to the Attorney General, stating that the GNU has closed the airspace to prevent his new ministers from travelling to the city of Tobruk, to be sworn in before the Libyan Parliament.

“This is a clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of movement, and an attack on the constitutional and political authorities by preventing them from performing their duties,” Bashagha’s letter said.

“The Libyan Penal Code stipulates that anyone who commits an act aimed at preventing the Head of State, the legislative authority, or the government from carrying out their duties, shall be punished with the death penalty,” the letter added.

Bashagha stated that anyone found committing a criminal offence must be held accountable, “whether he is an actor or an accomplice of incitement and assistance.”

The statement came after Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba instructed the Minister of Communications to close the airspace between eastern and western Libya.

Notably, Spokesman for the Libyan Parliament, Abdullah Blaiheg stated that the newly appointed government headed by Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha will be sworn in on Thursday.

Blaiheg added that the constitutional oath session will be held at the Parliament’s headquarters in Tobruk. He noted that all ministers of the new government will attend the session, in addition to civil society representatives.

The Parliament gave confidence to the new government, as 92 of the 101 lawmakers in attendance approved the decision, in a live broadcast from the city of Tobruk.

Meanwhile, the GNU stated that it would remain in power, and rejected the “mess and fabrication” made by the Parliament. It vowed to lead the country to elections in June 2022.

Libya has been mired in a political crisis since the fall of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. Observers fear that Libya will return to having two opposing governments, threatening the nation’s vital oil sector.