Khaled Al-Mishri, chairman of Libya’s High Council of State, criticized the parliament’s decision on Tuesday to to replace Fathi Bashagha as prime minister, slamming the move as a “political absurdity” in a statement via Twitter.
The House of Representatives voted to oust Bashagha after he failed to take office in Tripoli where the incumbent Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh has refused to cede power.
The parliament assigned Bashagha’s finance minister Osama Hamad to take over his duties, parliament spokesperson Abdullah Belhaiq said, part of an apparent new push to oust Dbeibeh and install a new government in Tripoli.
Al-Mishri, whose council has been in talks with the parliament to establish a legal framework for holding the long-delayed national elections, described today’s vote as “suspicious”.
“The House of Representatives continues its political absurdity,” he said via Twitter. “After its vote of no-confidence for [Dbeibeh’s] Government of National Unity without consulting with the High Council of State; and its failure to approve a general state budget, which made the Government of National Unity spend money and use it without supervision or accountability, and after they also appointed Fathi Bashagha as head of a new government and voted for his government in a non-transparent manner, it is is now issuing a decision to suspend him in a suspicious manner, to say the least.”
Bashagha was appointed in March 2022 but his efforts to enter Tripoli and take office ended in battles between factions aligned with him and others aligned with Dbeibah, and he has had to operate outside Tripoli with no control of state finances.
He wrote to the parliament earlier on Tuesday saying he was handing his duties over to his deputy Ali Qatrani, without saying whether or when he planned to resume them.