Libya’s two prime ministers


On Feb. 10, Libya’s eastern-based parliament chose a new prime minister for the country, former interior minister Fathi Bashagha. The only problem… Libya already has an interim prime minister: Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was chosen by a UN-led process to head the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord. Dbeibah was supposed to guide the fractured country through presidential elections in late December, but they were postponed after confusion and contestation over the rules governing the process. Among the issues: Dbeibah, who had promised not to run for president but put his hat in the ring anyway, would apparently have to step away from his duties three months before the polls—which he did not do. The Tobruk-based parliament says the December deadline means Dbeibah’s time is up, but he says he won’t hand over power until elections take place. He also reportedly survived an assassination attempt shortly before the parliament’s move to replace him, but details on what really happened remain thin. None of this appears to bode well for Libyans’ long quest for a united country.

From The New Humanitarian, Feb. 11

Note: Not at all surprisingly, Russia has thrown its support behind Bashagha. Somewhat more surprisingly, Turkey—the strongest backer of the GNA—has stated its neutrality on the question. (Al-Monitor, The Arab Weekly)

See our last report on the political crisis in Libya.

Map: Perry-Castañeda Library

  1. Clashes flare again in Libyan capital

    Fighting between militias broke out in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on July 22, killing at least 13 people, including three children. The clashes—between forces backing the same Tripoli-based Presidential Council—were the worst in the city since a late 2020 ceasefire ended more than a year of war. Elections originally set for last December have been indefinitely postponed. Libya is currently controlled by two rival administrations, both supported by an array of militias. This week, despite recent talks in Geneva, a UN peacekeeping official told the Security Council that the various sides have still not been able to agree on the eligibility requirements for presidential candidates, so polls remain on hold. Candidates who put themselves forth for the top job in December included several people accused of war crimes and human rights violations. (TNH)