Libyan Parliament has expelled PM Fathi Bashagha
Libya’s political scene has been thrown into turmoil as the nation’s eastern-based parliament voted to remove Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, referring him for investigation and appointing Finance Minister Osama Hamad as his replacement. The reasons for Bashagha’s ousting are unclear.
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As a former interior minister, he was chosen over a year ago to rival Tripoli-based premier Abdul Hamid Dbeibah under a United Nations-brokered deal to create a power-sharing government and establish democracy in Libya.
Libyan Parliament has expelled PM Fathi Bashagha: Key Points
- The country, home to Africa’s largest oil reserves, has been plagued by instability since the 2011 civil war and the fall of Moammar Al Qaddafi.
- Despite an unstable political situation, crude oil production has stabilised this year at over 1.1 million barrels per day.
- Following the unsuccessful endeavors of Fathi Bashagha to lead a march into the capital city, Tripoli, and establish his authority as the national prime minister, he established an alternative government in the city of Sirte along the central coastline.
Unfortunately, this rival administration ultimately proved ineffective. Parliament’s decision to remove Bashagha from his post represents the loss of an occasional ally of the military leader Khalifa Haftar, who in 2019 and 2020, conducted a campaign to take over the capital from a prior administration, and subsequently sought to run for president in 2021.
Fathi Bashagha: About
- Fathi Bashagha has been a prominent figure in Libya’s political landscape for over a decade.
- Born in Tripoli in 1962, Bashagha studied at the Libyan Military Academy before pursuing a law degree at Tripoli University.
- Bashagha first rose to national prominence as a journalist and human rights activist during the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
- He was arrested several times for his outspoken criticism of the regime’s abuses, and eventually fled the country in 2006 to avoid further persecution.
- After Gaddafi’s downfall in 2011, Bashagha returned to Libya and became involved in the country’s newly established political institutions. In 2014, he was appointed Minister of Interior under the government of Abdullah al-Thani.
- As Minister of Interior, Bashagha has worked to reform and professionalize Libya’s security forces, while also cracking down on organized crime and militias.
- He has also been a strong advocate for human rights and has spoken out against abuses by both government forces and armed groups.
- Bashagha’s tenure as Minister of Interior has not been without controversy.
- In 2018, he survived an assassination attempt in Tripoli, which he blamed on supporters of a rival militia.
- In 2019, he was briefly suspended from his post by the Government of National Accord, following criticism of his handling of protests in the city of Tripoli.
Despite these challenges, Bashagha remains a popular figure in Libyan politics, known for his commitment to transparency, accountability, and the rule of law. He has been touted as a possible candidate for higher office, including the presidency, in any future Libyan elections.
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