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Libya: Fathi Bachagha announces the formation of an interim government

Libya: Fathi Bachagha announces the formation of an interim government
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Libya's parliamentary-appointed prime minister, Fathi Bachagha, announced on Thursday that he had completed the formation of his government, which will be sent to MPs for a vote of confidence.

"The composition of the government is ready and will be transmitted to the House of Representatives today, Thursday," Fathi Bachagha's press office said in a statement. To form his government, the former Interior Minister conducted "extensive consultations with all political parties, the Parliament and the High Council of State, and examined many proposals according to criteria of competence and efficiency," according to the same source.

Already plagued by divisions between competing institutions in the east and west, Libya recently found itself with two rival prime ministers in Tripoli, after missing the crucial December election deadline. The parliament in the east appointed Fathi Bachagha on 10 February to replace Abdelhamid Dbeibah as head of the interim government. However, the latter assures that he will only hand over power to an elected executive.

Presidential election

In addition to the replacement of Abdelhamid Dbeibah, the MPs voted for a new political roadmap, which should lead to a presidential election in 14 months at the latest. Fathi Bachagha's office did not say when the vote of confidence would take place, but the parliament has called a session for Monday without specifying its purpose.

Abdelhamid Dbeibah had reaffirmed earlier this week that he would only hand over power to an elected government and announced parliamentary elections before the end of June, to thwart the process launched by the parliament chaired by his political rival Aguila Saleh. He had launched a diatribe against the parliament, saying that the "imprudent" decision to replace it "will inevitably lead to war".

After years of war and division, he was appointed a year ago to head an interim government to lead the transition by organising presidential and legislative elections initially scheduled for last December. But persistent quarrels have led to the postponement, sine die, of the double ballot on which the international community was basing great hopes to finally put an end to the chaos that has ravaged the country since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011 in the middle of the Arab Spring.

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