Libya’s Eastern-Based Parliament Suspends It’s Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha

Libya’s eastern-based parliament on Tuesday voted to replace its appointed Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, the parliament spokesperson Abdullah Belhaiq confirmed, reported Africa News.

Notably, Libya has been split between rival administrations based in the east and the west of the country since 2014, each backed by an array of militias and several regional powers.

The parliament, backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar, had appointed Bashagha as the head of the administration in February last year to lead a government to replace Tripoli-based premier Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah of the UN-recognized Government of National Unity (GNU).

The eastern-backed administration argued Dbeibah’s mandate had expired, but he refused to hand over power before elections.

In July, Bashagha announced plans to take office in Tripoli. But, the next month, he failed in his second attempt to oust his rival Dbeibah by force, after clashes in Tripoli killed 32 people.

“The House of Representatives voted unanimously to suspend the chief of government Fathi Bashagha and open an investigation against him,” said Bliheg after a meeting in Benghazi.

Bilheg said Libya’s eastern-based parliament has appointed the finance minister, Oussama Hamad, to act as prime minister until the investigation takes place. The reasons for Bashagha’s suspension have not yet been announced.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bashagha issued a statement to the parliament announcing that he was passing his duties to Deputy Prime Minister Ali Qatrani.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has been taking various measures to ensure that elections can be held in 2023. Both the rival parliaments have agreed upon a joint committee to draft electoral law for the vote, but progress has since slowed.

Last month, Abdoulaye Bathily, head of UNSMIL, said there was a “historic opportunity” to tackle Libya’s political crisis, after consultations between political, security, and other figures.

He said representatives from both administrations at the gathering committed to supporting elections.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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