Libya’s parliament speaker on Monday rejected any “interference” in its work, after the UN envoy offered to mediate in a push for elections.
Stephanie Williams, UN chief Antonio Guterres’s special adviser on Libya, had on Friday offered to host talks between the eastern-based legislature and institutions in the western capital Tripoli in a push for long-delayed polls.
She has also warned against an “escalation” after parliament appointed a new premier in a bid to oust the head of the unity government Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, who has vowed not to cede power until elections are carried out.
Dbeibah was appointed last year following a landmark 2020 ceasefire with a mandate to lead the country to December 24 elections.
Sharp divisions over the legal and constitutional basis of the elections and the presence of controversial candidates led the rival government to appoint ex-interior minister Fathi Bashagha as Prime Minister.
Parliament speaker Aguila Saleh “rejected any interference in the decisions of the House of Representatives and stressed that they are not subject to ratification by anyone”.
In a statement on the parliament’s website, he stressed that “the appointment of a new government” was legal as that of Dbeibah had expired.
Williams who proposed a joint committee of members of the parliament and the High Council of State, a Tripoli-based upper house, to create “a consensual constitutional basis” for polls also reiterated calls for calm and “the importance of cooperation between Libyan institutions for the sake of lasting stability”.