Appointed Prime Minister after a vote by the House of Representatives in Tobruk, Fathi Bachagha is supposed to take over from Abdulhamid Dabaiba. But the latter, still recognized by the UN, does not intend to give up his place.
1. Former Minister of the Interior
This early revolutionary with rectangular glasses was the interior minister of the government of national accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj . In this capacity, he was at the forefront of the resistance of Tripoli forces against Marshal Haftar’s offensive launched in April 2019 .
Fathi Bachagha has never made a secret of his ambitions to play leading roles in the Libya of tomorrow. An appetite which for a time brought him into conflict with Fayez al-Sarraj, who tried to sack him… In vain.
Hailing from the powerful city of Misrata, home to some of the country’s best trained and equipped militias, he can count on the support of many of them, such as when he was briefly sacked in August 2020.
4. United States
The unofficial Libyan Prime Minister has good contacts abroad, particularly in Washington, which, through its embassy in Tripoli, highlighted the quality of its “partnership” with Bachagha when the latter was suspended from his post.
A figure of resistance to Marshal Haftar, and more generally to the institutions of eastern Libya, Fathi Bachagha surprised by joining forces with Aguila Saleh, the head of the House of Representatives based in Tobruk, to present a joint candidacy at the Forum of the inter-Libyan dialogue of March 2021. Without success, Dabaiba winning against all odds.
6. Arm wrestling
Since being appointed Prime Minister by the House of Representatives, Fathi Bachagha has been engaged in a showdown with the current Prime Minister, still recognized by the UN, businessman Abdulhamid Dabaiba, a Misrati like him.
As soon as his appointment was announced, Fathi Bachagha held a press conference in Tripoli during which he promised that there would be “no room for revenge” in the new government.
8. Assassination attempt
Escaping assassination attempts is part of the routine of every prominent Libyan politician. Fathi Bachagha is no exception to the rule, his convoy having been targeted in February 2021 in the suburbs of Tripoli.
A time at loggerheads with Paris, which he accused of supporting Marshal Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli, he has since established contacts in France, where he met Jean-Yves Le Drian and Florence Parly in November 2020. He assured in the columns of Jeune Afrique “want to establish good relations with France”.
10. Essential militias
When he was Minister of the Interior, his major mission was to work for the integration of Libyan militias into the forces of order. It was partly under pressure from a Tripolitan militia that he was briefly suspended in August 2020. Before returning to the Libyan capital… thanks to the help of the Misrata militias.