Libya’s elites may unite, but elections still elusive

by | Jul 18, 2022 | World

Divisions that have riven Libya since 2011, when the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown, have continued to prevent presidential elections initially scheduled for December 2018 from taking place.To many observers, the delays appear to be the result of the entrenchment of political and military figures on all sides, and their preference for the present situation – even if the status quo has brought several political crises, debates over legitimacy, a financially damaging shutdown of oil facilities and a closure of some of the country’s main roads.
The decision in March by the Libyan parliament, based in the eastern city of Tobruk and supportive of the powerful renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, to appoint former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha as prime minister of Libya, came as Haftar and his allies were pushing hard to replace the internationally recognised Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
But despite Bashagha forming a government, an abortive attempt to enter the capital Tripoli where Dbeibah is based, and fears of a renewed military confrontation, the parliament-backed prime minister’s momentum has stalled, and there is even now potential for an unexpected alliance between Dbeibah and the man who has been trying to remove him, Haftar.
On July 12, in an unexpected move, Dbeibah sacked the chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla, and replaced him with Farhat Bengdara, a Gaddafi-era banker who had been working as the head of a bank in the United Arab Emirates, and is believe …

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