Jeune Afrique magazine published a report on the efforts of the Head of the Presidential Council, Mohammed Menfi, to bridge the rift between the contenders for the leadership of the expected government, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, and Fathi Bashagha, who was chosen by the House of Representatives in a unanimous vote and recommended by the High Council of State to assume the task of the new, alternative government, while Dbeibah refuses to step down.
In its report, the French magazine said that the political situation in Libya – which it described as tense – is a strong concern for Menfi “who is working to intensify his efforts and employ his relations, in order to avoid the scenario of a two-headed government in the country,” stressing that “Libya has entered into a new political-constitutional impasse,” since the appointment of the House of Representatives, of Fathi Bashagha, the former Minister of the Interior, as the new prime minister, noting that “this situation greatly worries Menfi, who took the presidency at the same time that Dbeibah assumed the prime minister office.”
Jeune Afrique considered that the appointment of two heads of government in one country is “an unimaginable situation and its implementation on the ground,” and reported that “in an attempt to defuse the looming crisis, Menfi offered to mediate a solution between Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba and Fathi Bashagha, trying to find a way out of this political impasse.”
The magazine quoted its sources as saying that the Head of the Presidential Council received Dbeibah on February 13, and Bashagha the next day and told them “that he refuses to see the country enter into a new conflict because of personal rivalry,” according to the magazine’s description, which said thay what is happening is a “harmful rivalry” between the two men.
Menfi asked Dbeibah and Bashagha “to negotiate directly with each other so that the country is not drawn into war.” He also insisted on the fact that whatever head of government will be finally chosen, the latter will have to exercise his mandate within the framework of the Geneva agreement – leading the country to presidential and parliamentary elections as successfully as possible.
It should be noted that the dispute has surfaced on the current political scene, recording different positions between the Prime Minister-designate by the Parliament, Fathi Bashagha, who spoke earlier about the start of consultations to form the expected government, and Dbeibah, the current Head of the unity government, who confirmed that he would only hand over power to an elected government.