New Libyan Government: Holding Elections “Main Goal”

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Spokesman for the newly assigned Libyan government, Othman Abdel-Jalil stated the main goal for the government is to hold national elections.

He denied that the new government “is fighting for power,” saying that they emerged after it was clear that the outgoing Government of National Unity (GNU), “does not want, and has no ability, to hold the national elections.”

“We {the new government} have come after it was clear that Dbaiba government does not want and cannot hold elections, so the solution was to form a government to supervise the conduct of the elections in a technical way,” Abdel-Jalil said during an interview.

“Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha has pledged to hold general elections in the country. There is a committee formed by the Libyan Parliament and the High Council of State (HCS) to establish a constitutional basis,” he added.

“The Bashagha government’s first and last goal is to hold elections,” he affirmed. The Spokesman ruled out any intention of the Dbaiba government to hold elections.

He revealed that Dbaiba has made contact with French President, Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, Turkey, and Egypt. He has allegedly asked them for the elections to be postponed.

“The laws that came out last September stipulated that a Presidential candidate would give up his position three months before he could run for office. Dbaiba also violated the pledge he made at the Geneva Forum not to run for elections, and the Minister of Interior of the GNU published security reports stating that elections cannot be held,” he explained.

Abdel-Jalil described keeping the Dbaiba government until June, as a “trick.”

On 10 February, Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh announced that they unanimously appointed Bashagha as the new Prime Minister.

But Dbaiba 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.

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