Libyan PM Bashagha Suspended by Parliament


On Tuesday, Libya’s eastern-based Parliament voted to suspend its designated Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha. It appointed his Finance Minister, Osama Hamada to his role, the Parliamentary Spokesman, Abdullah Blaiheg said Tuesday.

In February 2022, the Libyan Parliament elected the former Interior Minister to replace Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba. This was part of a United Nations-backed peace process to end more than a decade of violence in the North African country.

Dbaiba failed in his key task of organizing elections in December, at which point the Parliament ruled that his mandate had run out. The Tripoli-based Prime Minister refused to hand over power before elections, preparing a showdown with Bashagha.

Dbaiba has previously confirmed that he will “remain in office until all Libyan parties agree on electoral laws that are internationally welcomed, and start announcing specific dates for the elections.”

In May, Bashagha attempted to enter Tripoli, and take office. This sparked pre-dawn clashes between armed groups supporting him and those backing Dbaiba.

Libyan political experts said at the time that Bashagha’s attempt was “badly planned and ended in a resounding political failure, inflicting a severe blow on him and his national and international allies.”

Bashagha’s failure to take over the capital was linked to Turkey’s rejection of his government. The 444th Brigade formed under Turkish supervision and training, played a key role in ending the clashes and providing safe passage for Bashagha to retreat before it deployed across the capital, according to the Arab Weekly.

Dbaiba came to power following a landmark 2020 ceasefire that ended a year-long battle when the General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar tried, unsuccessfully, to seize the capital.

The transitional government had a mandate to lead the country to elections, which never took place due to divisions over the rules and the presence of controversial candidates.

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 rogue militias and foreign governments.