Libyan PM Refuses to Step Down Until Elections


The Libyan Prime Minister of the outgoing Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba reiterated that he will leave his post only after holding general elections.

Dbaiba addressed the Libyan people on Sunday evening, denouncing the bloody clashes that took place in Tripoli. These resulted in the killing of 32 people, and the injury of 159 others, including civilians.

“Those who launched the aggression against Tripoli are implementing international agendas that do not want stability for the country,” he said.

The Libyan PM vowed to prosecute those involved, both military and civilians, and ensure that they do not go unpunished. He also called for holding elections “before it is too late.”

Notably, fighting broke out in various districts of Tripoli between groups armed with both heavy and light weapons, as two rival governments yet again vie for power in the oil-rich but impoverished North African country.

Gunshots and explosions rang through the darkened streets of the Libyan Capital, according to media reports.

Libya has had two competing governments since March, when the eastern-based Libyan Parliament appointed Fathi Bashagha to replace Dbaiba. This renewed a standoff between the east and west of the country. Dbaiba, who was chosen as interim Prime Minister over a year ago in UN-backed talks, has refused to cede power to Bashagha.

The oil-rich country had descended into turmoil and violence following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

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