After elections were postponed, parallel governments emerge and an international body is accused of partisanship.
While the world’s focus has shifted towards Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, another hot spot, Libya, is facing never-ending political turmoil. Now, the main question is: Who is in power?
Here is a look at what’s happened in the past few days.
Since the postponement of December 24 elections under the UN’s sponsorship, the eastern-based parliament, The House of Representatives (HoR) was quick to further exacerbate the situation when it announced the plans of installing a parallel and rival government led by former interior minister, Fathi Bashagha.
The move was expected to deepen divisions between rival factions in the war-torn country.
On Monday, the head of Libya’s High Council of State (HCS), Khalid Al-Mishri, said the parallel government led by Bashagha is part of warlord Khalifa Haftar and his allies plan to “enter (Tripoli) from the window after failing to enter by force”.
On his Facebook account, Al-Mishri while calling Bashagha as his “brother and friend”, who led “defending the capital” in the past against Haftar’s militias, warned that a new government project will worsen the current political deadlock.
Al-Mishri while describing his vision for the country said only providing a constitutional basis can lead to having elections based on a specified and rapid timeline.
The same day, the HoR due to lack of constituting a quorum failed to convene a session and deliver a vote of confidence for the government of Bashagha while some pro-Bashagha politicians in Tobruk claimed over 100 members were there for the session.
Local media sources reported that the speaker of HoR, the pro-Haftar Aguila Saleh, proposed the voting to take place on phone which is illegal according to Libyan law as it requires physical presence.
Declaring the UN special adviser unwanted
On the other hand, former Libyan Minister of Culture, Habib Al-Amin demanded the departure of Stephanie Williams, the special adviser to the UN Secretary General while accusing Williams of being behind Bashagha’s parallel government.
Al-Amin said on Twitter that his country has no need for the “prophecies” of the UN mission that involves “conspiracies and dictations.”
Other Libyans and activists have also accused Williams for her alleged part in the formation of Bashagha’s government.
Previously, Williams, while commenting on the HoR’s attempts to install a rival government said; “My fear is that some people may now manoeuvre for a prolonged period of delay. The HoR exists off a mandate that it was given in elections 3,700 days ago. It has been seven years, seven months since Libya went to the national polls.Their shelf life has long expired. This is ultimately a struggle over assets, power and money. That is quite a motive to hang on.”
Amid such developments, the legitimate PM of Libya’s UN-backed government, Abdulhamid Dbeibah said; “Members of the House of Representatives (HoR) plunged Libya into ‘a dark tunnel’ in the last years due to their political manoeuvres so they could stay in their positions”.
In his speech which took place during a public demonstration to support elections themed under a ‘No to extension’ slogan in Tripoli, Dbeibah said “the Libyan parliament is now kidnapped.”
Stressing the fact that his government’s mandate ends in June as per the UN-sponsored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, PM Dbeibah added that they “cannot allow this mess”.
Thanking people who had taken the streets in support of holding elections, he said the mandates of the HoR and High Council of State will not be allowed to be extended.
Most recently, the HoR on Tuesday announced its approval of the Bashagha-led parallel government in the East in a bid to challenge the UN-backed government in Tripoli.
The new rival administration has won the confidence of HoR with a majority of the votes as it was announced by the pro-Haftar speaker of the HoR, Aguila Saleh.
The legitimate PM, Dbeibah has repeatedly stressed that he will only hand over his power to an elected government in June.