Fathi Bashagha, the Prime Minister appointed by the House of Representatives (HoR) to replace Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, has told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that he plans to take office in the capital Tripoli “in the coming days.”
Tripoli is the seat of the Government of National Unity headed by Dbeibah. Bashagha arrived in the capital Tripoli in last May and attempted to take office there, sparking clashes between armed groups supporting him and those backing Dbeibah.
He told AFP that he had backed down at the time to avoid bloodshed, but added that he had since received “positive invitations” to enter the capital.
“All the roads are open into Tripoli and God willing we’ll be there in the coming days,” he said in an interview last Friday, speaking via Zoom from his temporary base in the central city of Sirte, according to AFP.
Bashagha also said that some armed forces had changed their position and now have nothing against his government entering the capital.
Bashagha argues that today, Dbeibah’s government is “illegitimate” and says “Its mandate is over and it failed to make elections happen”.
For elections to take place, Bashagha added, “the only condition is that Libya only has one government. Two governments is not acceptable.”
Speaking about the recent protests by the Libyan people across the country, Bashagha believed that those popular demands “are legitimate and the protests will continue after Eid – after July 11.
He also commented on the oil blockade, saying that once residents of the Oil Crescent region are reassured that the revenues will not go to corruption, or theft or to other places, they will “lift the siege on the oil exports”.