By Moataz Wanees
TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) – Head of the Tripoli-based government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, on Monday blamed East Libya-based parliament for hindering elections in the war-torn country.
Speaking during a Cabinet meeting in the Libyan capital, Dbeibeh vowed to hold the stalled polls this year.
“2023 will be the year of elections in Libya,” he said.
“Disappointments still haunt the Libyans as a result of denying 2.8 million voters their electoral right,” the Libyan premier added.
Libyan elections had been scheduled to take place on Dec. 24, 2021, but the vote failed to materialize due to differences between the country’s political rivals.
The situation escalated last year after the Libyan parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, but Dbeibeh insisted 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.
Dbeibeh said his government and the electoral commission are fully ready to hold the polls in 2023.
“Year 2023 will be the time for elections and for unification of institutions, sectors and civil organizations,” he added.
Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar