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Libya: vote of confidence for new government criticised as ‘breach of agreement’

March 2, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Head of the Libyan High Council of State (HCS) Khalid Al-Mishri on November 13, 2021 [Ömer Ensar/Anadolu Agency]

The Head of the High Council of State in Libya has said that the vote of confidence by the House of Representatives in Tobruk for a new government headed by Fathi Bashagha represents a “violation of the political agreement,” Anadolu has reported.

“The High Council of State has confirmed its rejection of the steps taken by the parliament alone,” added Khalid Al-Mishri. “It will meet next Thursday to take the necessary measures regarding these violations.” He also described the continued closure of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court as a “crime”.

Meanwhile, the Government of National Unity (GNU) headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh announced that it will continue its duties. It accused the House of Representatives of “rigging” the quorum set for passing a vote of confidence.

The GNU argues that the outcomes of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (the “political agreement” referred to by Al-Mishri) set the term of the transitional executive authority at 18 months, extending it until 24 June this year.

READ: Hundreds demonstrate in Tripoli calling for elections

Dbeibeh’s government has said that it will deal “in full compliance with the law” with any attempt to raid its headquarters. It vowed to “hold accountable anyone who dares to approach any government headquarters or tamper with the stability and destiny of the Libyans.”

The government called on both the Presidential Council and the President of the Supreme Court to “assume their historical responsibilities, and to expedite the reopening of the Constitutional Chamber to finally adjudicate all problems that threaten the stability of the country.”

The GNU statement followed Bashagha’s announcement on Tuesday that his “government” will assume its duties in the capital Tripoli “peacefully”. He stressed the importance of “reconciliation” and affirming that his government “did not come for revenge”. He insisted that the vote of confidence was carried out in a “transparent and public manner”.

The House of Representatives appointed Bashagha to form a new government on 10 February, after the failure to hold the presidential election on 24 December 24 due to disagreements between official institutions about election laws and the role of the judiciary in the process. On 21 February, Dbeibeh announced a plan to hold a parliamentary election and a referendum on the draft of the new constitution simultaneously before 24 June.

READ: Libyan Government of National Unity accuses eastern parliament of ‘fraud’