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Libya: Dbeibeh rejects any 'manoeuvre to divide authority or monopolise it'

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh speaks during a protest against the "withdrawal the vote of confidence from the government" decision of the House of Representatives (TM), chaired by warlord Khalifa Haftar's political ally Akile Salih, at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, Libya on September 21, 2021. ( Mücahit Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )
Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on September 21, 2021 [Mücahit Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The Head of the Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, expressed on Monday his rejection of any "manoeuvre to divide or monopolise authority" in the country. He stressed that the only solution is holding elections.

This came during his speech in the meeting of the Council of Ministers in the capital, Tripoli, commenting on protests Libya is witnessing. The participating protesters demand to overthrow all current political bodies, according to a statement by the Council.

Dbeibeh said: "We reject any manoeuvre to divide authority between people, parties, or entities (…) We raised the slogan 'No to extension for any party', especially that some of them reached 8 or 10 years in power."

He added that "some parties (he did not name them) want to monopolise the decision in Libya."

Dbeibeh continued: "The government assumed power at a specific time, but it faced many obstacles, foremost of which is chaos, the closure of oil (fields and ports) and the failure to approve the budget."

He stressed that the "only" solution in his country "is holding elections."

Libyans hope that holding parliamentary and presidential elections will contribute to ending an armed conflict that their oil-rich country has suffered for years.

Dbeibeh went on to say: "The decision is clear; it does not need anything. Laws existed and we hold elections so that the Libyan people choose the executive and presidential authority."

He added: "But managing the situation from one party, or one political party, or a force or a city cannot happen."

Dbeibeh said: "We are the first to say no to the extension, whether for us or any responsible party … We were the first to demand the Libyan people protest and express their feelings, which is what happened."

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He called "not to take advantage of the demonstrations by certain groups to put our institutions and cities into a state of tension, whether by intimidating citizens, shooting fire, burning buildings or attacking institutions."

He continued: "There are some persons who want to penetrate the demonstrations with specific discourses, and each one directs the demonstrations for a specific purpose or a specific party. There are security authorities and the Ministry of Interior which will maintain security."

The main cities of western, eastern and southern Libya are witnessing demonstrations demanding the overthrow of all existing political institutions and holding of elections without any delay.

The United Nations is exerting efforts to reach a Libyan consensus on a constitutional basis, according to which parliamentary and presidential elections will be held, amid fears that the country could slide into civil war due to the presence of two conflicting governments.

Early last March, the Libyan House of Representatives in (Tobruk) east voted of trust in favour of a new government, headed by Fathi Bashagha.

While Dbeibeh refuses to hand over power, except to a government that comes through a parliament elected by the people to end all transitional periods and entities.

READ: Libya's oil output drops amid closures

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