Bashagha-France Agree on Need for Elections in Libya

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On Tuesday, Libyan Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha held talks with the French Special Envoy to Libya, Paul Soler on the latest political developments in the country.

During the meeting, they agreed on the need to preserve the unity of Libya, hold simultaneous Presidential and Parliamentary elections, and fully implement the ceasefire agreement via the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC).

Bashagha emphasised that his government’s main goal is to hold elections, and fulfil the aspirations of the Libyan people, including living in a stable and democratic country.

Last week, the EU Ambassador to Libya, Jose Sabadell met with Bashagha. The Ambassador stressed the need to prevent escalating tensions, avoid violence, and find a political solution to the current impasse leading to elections.

He added that adopting an economic track can build confidence between the Libyan parties.
The EU diplomat also praised the role played by Bashagha in preventing the outbreak of armed clashes in Tripoli.

Bashagha also recently held a telephone call with the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to discuss the latest developments of the crisis.

uterres expressed “deep concern at the ongoing political polarisation in Libya, which carries significant risks for the hard-won stability,” said Spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“The Secretary-General stressed the need for all actors to preserve calm and stability on the ground, while reiterating the UN’s firm rejection for the use of violence, intimidation, and hate speech,” said Dujarric.

Guterres added that the current stalemate required urgent dialogue to find a consensual way forward. As well as emphasising his full support for mediation efforts carried out by his special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams.

The current crisis erupted after Libya failed to hold its first Presidential elections on 24 December, under a UN-led reconciliation effort. The peace plan, which also involved installing an interim unity government last year. This was aimed at resolving the conflict between the country’s main factions that split Libya in 2014, between rival governments in east and west.

The Libyan Parliament named a new Prime Minister, former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, to lead a new interim government in February. MP’s argued that the incumbent PM, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba’s mandate expired when the elections failed to take place. 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.