The Prime Minister of Libya has said he will quit his post by the end of October.
The PM, Fayez al-Serraj, who heads the National Accord (GNA), said this on Wednesday in a televised speech.
“I declare my sincere intention to hand over the tasks of power to the coming executive authority in a time no later than October,” al-Serraj said.
He said he wants to hand over power to a new executive authority as efforts to find a political solution to the country’s years-long conflict gather pace.
He added that the political and social situation in Libya was in a state of severe polarisation, making all attempts to reach a political settlement to prevent bloodshed difficult.
The premier acknowledged that recent UN-sponsored consultations between Libyan rivals have led to a new preparatory phase to unify state institutions and to pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Al-Sarraj is head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), while eastern Libya and much of the south is controlled by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).
Haftar’s LNA – which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia – launched an offensive in April 2019 trying to capture Tripoli from al-Sarraj’s government.
The campaign collapsed in June when the Turkish-backed GNA forces gained the upper hand and drove the LNA from the outskirts of the capital and other western towns, with the front lines now solidified near the central city of Sirte.
Under heavy international pressure, delegates from the rival camps met earlier this month and agreed on a preliminary deal that aims to guide the country towards elections within 18 months and demilitarise.
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