Fathi Bashagha, who was recently appointed by Libya’s pro-coup Tobruk-based parliament, General Khalifa Haftar, as the new prime minister to replace Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, said he was determined to establish the new government in the capital Tripoli.
In a video message he posted on Facebook, Bashagha said he was determined to form the government in Tripoli and had no intention of establishing a “parallel government” elsewhere in the country.
Without specifying names, Bashagha said some countries had offered to mediate between him and Dbeibah, but the latter rejected the offer.
He said they were ready for all types of dialogue, including national and international initiatives, while rejecting claims that the armed forces supporting him are limited to the east of the country.
Dbeibah was named interim leader last year as part of a United Nations-backed process aimed at helping the North African country recover from a decade of chaos following the dictator’s ouster Muammar Gaddafi.
His government had the mandate to lead the country to the elections of December 24, 2021.
But the elections were canceled and parliament began polling candidates to replace Dbeibah, a process that could spark new East-West power struggles in the troubled country. The eastern-based parliament is sympathetic to putschist General Khalifa Haftar, who has led a campaign against the internationally recognized caretaker government to take control of the capital Tripoli.
He had instructed him to form a government to replace that of Dbeibah, based in the capital Tripoli in the west of the country and considered by Saleh to have survived his term.
The emergence of Bashagha’s government again gives the country two prime ministers, as it did between 2014 and a historic east-west ceasefire in 2020.
Bashagha, a 59-year-old former fighter pilot trainer from Misrata near Tripoli, is backed by eastern-based coup leader General Khalifa Haftar, whose disastrous 2019-20 attack on the capital s ended in defeat and a return to UN peace efforts, following Turkey. support for the legitimate government in Tripoli.
During Bashagha’s tenure as interior minister in 2018-2021, he worked to reduce the influence of militias and integrate fighters into state-led forces.
He is one of the few major Libyan players to maintain good relations with foreign powers supporting rival camps in the country.