Libyan Premier Dbeibah Welcomes U.N. Call for Elections

The head of the Tripoli-based unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah on Sunday welcomed a call by the United Nations envoy to Libya for holding elections in the country.

“I welcome the statement of the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, in which he urged all the relevant parties to achieve what he described as the ‘sole purpose’ to go for elections,” Dbeibah said in a statement on Twitter.

On Saturday, Bathily called “on political actors to accelerate discussions on the way forward in the political process, and to create the conditions for the holding of free and fair elections.”

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On Wednesday, Libyan Parliament Speaker Agila Saleh said there is a consensus between the east Libya-based assembly and the Tripoli-based High Council of State, which acts as a senate, on the reformation of the country’s sovereign institutions.

Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi was ousted after four decades in power.

The situation has worsened since last March when the Libyan parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, but Dbeibah insists he will cede authority only to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.

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Libya saw violent clashes between forces aligned with the two rivals in Tripoli last August, leaving dozens dead.

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