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UN chief voices concern over political polarisation in Libya

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a telephone call on Friday with Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity of Libya to discuss the latest developments in the country, Guterres’ press office said on Saturday.


The secretary-general expressed deep concern at the current severe political polarisation in Libya which carries significant risks for Libya’s hard-won stability, said the press office in a readout. The secretary-general stressed the need for all actors to preserve calm and reiterated the United Nations’ firm rejection of the use of violence, intimidation and hate speech, said the readout.


The Libyan House of Representatives, the country’s parliament, on Tuesday, granted confidence to a new government to replace the government led by Dbeibah. The new government was sworn in on Thursday.


The House of Representatives withdrew confidence from Dbeibah’s government in September 2021 and kept it as a caretaker government. On February 10, it unanimously voted to appoint Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister.


However, Dbeibah said his government would remain in office until an elected government is established. On February 21, he announced a plan to hold general elections in June. Dbeibah’s government on Tuesday accused the House of Representatives of approving the new government “without achieving quorum” during the session, confirming that it would continue to work and prepare for elections in June.


Guterres on Wednesday voiced concern over Tuesday’s vote in the House of Representatives. He expressed concern over reports that the vote fell short of the expected standards of transparency and procedures and included acts of intimidation prior to the session.


In Friday’s phone call, Guterres said the current stalemate required urgent dialogue to find a consensual way forward and reiterated his full support for mediation efforts such as those carried out by his special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams.

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