PM Dbeibah urges Libyans to go to the polls afterwards

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Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah called on Libyans to “go out and express their views”, after the Eastern Parliament withdrew the vote of confidence from his government.

His comments came in a speech at the side of a football match he attended in al-Zawiya, according to the Libyan government portal.

Following the House of Representatives’ decision to withdraw confidence from the government, the Prime Minister said the move was “invalid” because its procedures violate the constitutional declaration and the political agreement.

“No to war, no to division, yes to election,” Dbeibah said. “Our goal is to drive out the ghost of war forever.”

“We are strong with the unity and integrity of the country,” he added.

Dbeibah did not comment on the confidence of the House of Representatives from his government.

But he spoke to the Libyan people and said, “You have the word and the legitimacy.”

Tensions have risen between Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Government of National Unity (GNU) over electoral powers and laws.

Tuesday’s decision by parliament threatens plans to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on December 24.

Last week, Libya’s parliamentary speaker in the east, Aguila Saleh, signed a law allowing a presidential election to take place in December, although another state body rejected this, saying the legislation was flawed. The Prime Minister, a body empowered by a political agreement in 2015, said Saleh had unilaterally enforced the law by using powers he did not have to “prevent the forthcoming elections with the intention of issuing a flawed law.”

At the same time, the putschist general Khalifa Haftar is still working independently of the GNU, claiming that he is “commander-in-chief of the Libyan national army” and arguing with the presidential council over its competence.

The presidential and parliamentary elections were mandated through a UN-backed political forum last year in a process that also led to the installation of a unity government in March.

Libya’s peace process has stalled since the unity government was installed due to difficulties in reaching agreement on how to hold elections and a unified budget. There are doubts as to whether the election will take place.

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