Saleh: Bashagha’s Government Capable of Achieving Aspirations of Libyan People

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Libyan Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha
Libyan Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha

On Tuesday, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh held a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister-designate, Ali Al-Qatrani in Benghazi.

The Parliament-designated government said that Saleh expressed his “full support for the Libyan government headed by Fathi Bashagha, and his confidence in its ability to realize the aspirations of Libyan people by holding fair and transparent Presidential and Parliamentary elections.”

The two also discussed the state’s general budget law for the year 2022, which was issued by the Parliament. They also stressed the need to provide citizens with food, medicine, and electricity.

Al-Qatrani affirmed the government’s “keenness to implement the tasks entrusted to it in a way that serves the Libyan people. In addition to its commitment to implementing its plans, programs, and initiatives aimed at advancing the Libyan economy.”

He also referred to the “grave challenges facing Libya in light of the economic crises the whole world is witnessing. As well as the continuing state of economic stagnation that threatens Libya.”

Last month, Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha asked the country’s tax authority to transfer revenues to it, instead of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU).

The move came days after the GNU Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba said his government “was not responsible for any financial arrangements made by Bashagha’s government.”

Tax revenues are a major source of income for Libya’s state budget, after petroleum.

Last month, Bashagha’s government stressed its keenness to “protect the safety of civilians and the preservation of the security and stability of Libya.” It clarified that it “would not initiate any military actions or practice any form of violence.”

It also accused the GNU of political and military escalation. “The outgoing government obstructs any peaceful political process and aborts all attempts to hold elections, all in order to remain in office.”

Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by various militias and foreign governments.

The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December, and the refusal of Prime Minister Dbaiba to step down. In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.

Tensions have been rising for months in Libya as the two Prime Ministers vie for power; rising fears of renewed conflict two years after a landmark truce.

Notably, fighting between armed groups has been more common in and around Tripoli. As forces aligned with Dbaiba further consolidated their control over the capital.