New Libyan Minister’s Kidnapped

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On Thursday, Libyan Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha’s office announced that two of his ministers were kidnapped. This occurred as they attempted to travel to Tobruk by car, after the Government of National Unity (GNU) cut off Libyan airspace. This was to prevent ministers from attending the Libyan Parliament’s swearing-in ceremony for the new government.

A Spokesman told Reuters that the session will “go ahead as planned, despite the likely absence of some members, who will be able to take their oaths later.”

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 current government 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.

Libya’s Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha accused the outgoing 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,” the letter said.