Libya parliament backs Bashagha government

The vote may lead to the formation of two parallel administrations, derailing the UN-led reconciliation efforts

Fathi Bashagha was appointed last month as Prime Minister-designate despite growing tensions [File: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters]
Libya’s parliament approved a new government on Tuesday. Lawmakers’ declaration of Fathi Bashagha as prime minister after a televised vote aggravates a power struggle with the interim administration of Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, who was installed through a UN-backed process last year.

Bashagha’s large cabinet with 35 members reflects the extensive negotiations and promises of positions needed to secure support from a majority of members of parliament and the various interests they represent.

A vote had originally been scheduled for Monday, but lawmakers were unable until Tuesday to agree upon Bashagha’s cabinet list.

Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh said the new government was approved by 92 of the 101 members present in the chamber on Tuesday. That compares to the 132 members that backed Dbeibah’s interim unity government in a special session a year ago.

Dbeibah has promised elections in June while the parliament has set a roadmap targeting a referendum on a temporary constitution followed by a national vote next year, but analysts say it is hard to envisage either event taking place.

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