Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Libya's interim prime minister wants legislatives in June 2022

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, February 22nd 2022 à 10:45 | Read 200 times

Abdel Hamid Dbeibah wants to keep power until the elections (photo:GNU)
Abdel Hamid Dbeibah wants to keep power until the elections (photo:GNU)
LIBYA. "No to war. Yes to peace. Yes to elections." In a brief speech to commemorate the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi on 17 February 2011 in Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah sought to reassure Libyans.

The interim Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU) took the opportunity to announce the distribution of 50,000 plots of land to young people across the country, from Sunday 20 February 2022. They will also benefit, free of charge, from 100,000 unfinished flats with the possibility of taking out interest-free loans from the State Savings and Investment Bank to finish their construction.

He did not forget the elderly. Pensioners will be the first to receive a health insurance card before it is generalised to all Libyans. In addition, an organisation will be created to monitor the situation, both inside and outside the country, of Libyans injured by the conflicts and to help them. It will have a budget of one billion Libyan dinars (€191.48m). Abdel Hamid Dbeibah will also increase the salaries of civil servants in the Ministry of the Interior.

Two Prime Ministers in Tripoli

Increasingly contested, the interim Prime Minister is multiplying his gestures towards the population and publishing a new roadmap. "There is a group that seeks to start wars in Tripoli, and we tell them that enough is enough (...) We cannot fight any more and whoever wants to go back to war, we tell them no, and we will not accept it as we will not accept division," he said.

In fact, the country now has two prime ministers, since 10 February 2022 and the appointment by the House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk (east of the country) of Fathi Bashagha to this post. The divide between East and West has not been able to be bridged. Worse, it now also exists in the West, as the two rivals are both natives of Misrata.

On the one hand, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, who has allied himself with the East, only intends to hand over power to a government resulting from elections. After two postponements, at the end of December 2021 and the end of January 2022, he announced legislatives for June 2022. On the other hand, Fathi Bashagha wants to sit in the Prime Minister's chair as soon as possible.

A second roadmap

The two rival prime ministers, both present in the capital Tripoli, met Stephanie Williams on 13 February 2022. Asking them to "preserve above all calm on the ground, in the interest of the unity and stability" of the country, the UN special adviser for Libya now seems to support Abdel Hamid Dbeibah only with her lips. On Saturday 19 February 2022, Stephanie Williams, after a meeting with two members of the High State Council, insisted on "the need for the various Libyan political forces to seek the broadest possible consensus through a comprehensive and transparent process", confirming an orientation towards a neutral position.

Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, accused by some forty deputies of the Tobruk Parliament of having prevented the presidential election from taking place because of his candidacy (he had indicated when he took office that he would not run in accordance with the wishes of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum), now says he is ready to give up the opportunity to become the first President of the Libyan Republic. However, on the condition that he can continue his mandate until the elections.

On Sunday 20 February 2022, Aguila Saleh, President of the House of Representatives, expressed his "frustration" over the postponement of the election on 24 December 2021. He attributed this failure to the inability of the authorities in charge of the process to find an environment conducive to national reconciliation. "We are implementing a Libyan roadmap for the first time to pave the way for security, social and economic preparations and to design a constitutional basis for the elections. A committee of experts has been formed to amend some constitutional laws and submit the draft to a referendum so that the electoral commission can organise elections as soon as possible," he says.

Fathi Bashagha speaks of his own appointment as a "historic agreement" between the Parliament and the High Council of State (which supported his nomination). He assures that his opponent will step down "calmly and without problems." Fathi Bashagha has promised not to run in the presidential election.

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