Libyans welcome election of interim executive authority

7th Feb 2021
Libyans welcome election of interim executive authority

By Said Ibicioglu

 

TRIPOLI (AA): Libya’s High Council of State and Libyan politicians welcomed recent political developments Friday as the North African country elected an interim president and prime minister to govern the country until elections in December.

“We welcome the conclusions of the Geneva talks on the restructuring of the Libyan executive authority under the auspices of the UN Libya Support Mission (UNSMIL),” the Council said in a statement.

The Council urged the new executive to ensure security and stability and create suitable conditions for a constitutional referendum, presidential elections and legislative functions.

Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj congratulated the success of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in the election of the new executive authority.

“I congratulate the winning list on this day in which democracy was most evident,” Libya’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said on Twitter. He wished the new authority success in its works.

Libyan Defense Minister Salahuddin Al-Namroush said he supports the new authority in implementing the expected changes in political and economic matters.

The leader of Justice and Construction Party Mohamed Souwan offered congratulations to the new executive authority and Libyans. He wished the government success in the next stages.

On Friday, Libya’s rival political groups agreed to form an interim unity government after five days of talks in Switzerland.

Earlier Friday, Mohammad Younes Menfi was elected president of the interim government and Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah prime minister in the Presidency Council during voting at an unnamed location in Switzerland not far from Geneva.

The voting took place under the LPDF and choose a three-person Presidency Council for the interim government during a five-day meeting spearheaded by the UN Support Mission in Libya.

Menfi’s ticket garnered 39 votes to 34 of the second group in a second round of voting Friday with 30% of the elected positions going to women.

The winning list included Menfi, Mossa Al-Koni, Abdullah Hussein Al-Lafi, and Dbeibah.

Eastern Libya-based government allied with warlord Khalifa Haftar on Saturday conditioned the transfer of power to the new executive authority on the approval of the Tobruk-based parliament.

“We will wait for a final say from members of the House of Representatives (parliament) to hand over power to any governing body elected by law,” the unrecognized government of Abdullah al-Thani said in a statement.

The government said it will continue to pursue its duties. “The government is ready to hand over power if the new authority is approved [by the Tobruk-based parliament],” the statement said.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of Gaddafi in 2011.

Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement. But efforts for a long-term political settlement have failed due to a military offensive by militias loyal to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Al-Sarraj’s internationally recognized government has been battling Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

[Photo: The United Nations (UN)-led Libya Political Dialogue Forum met in Switzerland to determine the interim government until the elections scheduled for December 24, 2021. Photographer: UN Photo/Violaine Martin/AA]

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