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Dbeibah rejects his replacement, says only hand over Libya to elected presentative

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TRIPOLI: Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has rejected the decision of his replacement and said his internationally recognised Government of National Unity (or GNU) will only hand over power after a national election.

“I reject any attempts to drag Libyans into a new war,” Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said on Friday in an interview with Libyan media outlet.

Libya’s east-based parliament, which is aligned to warlord Khalifa Haftar, named former interior minister Fathi Bashaga to replace Dbeibah as head of a new interim government, a development that counters UN efforts to reconcile the divided country and one that will likely produce two parallel administrations.

Dbeibah accused that the eastern-based parliament’s selection of a new government and premier is another attempt to enter Tripoli by force.

Dbeibah, appointed by UN, said he considers a road map and may announce an initiative by his government to solve the political crisis in Libya. 

To make his initiative succeed, he said, he is willing to withdraw from running for the presidency. 

Dbeibah said the parliament speaker has asked him to withdraw his candidacy for the presidency in exchange for continuation at his post for a longer period.

The UN said it still recognises Dbeibah as Libya’s prime minister. 

Dbeibah alsosaid the assassination attempt on him a day earlier “wasn’t a planned operation” but two mercenaries were hired to kill him.

Dbeibah escaped unharmed early on Thursday from an assassination attempt when unidentified persons shot at his car in the capital Tripoli.

Several gunshots hit his car and the assailants managed to escape the scene according to reports. The Tobruk-based parliament said its decision followed the incumbent premier’s failure to hold national elections in December, something that was agreed under an UN-mediated peace process. 

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