Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah submits a proposal to parliament for approval in another step towards the country’s unification.
Libya’s prime minister-designate submitted a government composition proposal to parliament for approval, his office said, a key step towards unifying the country which fell into chaos after the removal of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
“In accordance with the road map of the political agreement, [Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah] handed over to the elected president of parliament his proposals for ministerial portfolios, ”his office said in a statement on Thursday.
Dbeibah was selected in early February as part of a United Nations-sponsored inter-Libyan dialogue, the latest internationally-backed attempt to save the country from a decade of conflict and fragmented politics.
A large oil producer, this North African country has been plunged into chaos since the 2011 uprising supported by NATO against Gaddafi.
Since 2015, it has been divided between two rival administrations: the Government of National Accord (GNA) recognized by the UN in Tripoli and the House of Representatives (HOR) in the eastern city of Tobruk.
The names of the government proposed by Dbeibah have not been made public, but the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the list on Monday in the central coastal city of Sirte, located roughly halfway between the two rival administrations.
As part of the UN plan, the prime minister has until March 19 to secure cabinet approval, before tackling the giant task of unifying Libya’s proliferating institutions and leading the transition until the elections of December 24.
Dbeibah, a billionaire from the western city of Misrata, had previously sent parliament his “structure and working vision of a government of national unity”, but did not provide names.
If approved, a new cabinet would replace a Tripoli-based National Accord Government (GNA), established in 2016 and led by Fayez al-Sarraj, and a parallel administration in eastern Libya, backed by the military fort Khalifa Haftar.
A three-member interim presidential board – selected alongside Dbeibah – will lead the administration of the unit.
It faces the daunting challenge of responding to the grievances of ordinary Libyans, stricken by a severe economic crisis, soaring unemployment, miserable public services and crippling inflation.
UN Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis met with Dbeibah and influential parliamentary president Aguila Saleh on Thursday, where he “stressed the importance of moving forward” with the vote of confidence on the cabinet scheduled for March 8.
The political process was born out of the last attempt at peace through the UN effort of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), launched in Tunisia in November.
But the process was marred by allegations of vote buying.
They focus on claims in a confidential UN expert report that at least three participants were offered bribes of hundreds of thousands of dollars in November.
Dbeibah’s administration issued a statement on Tuesday demanding that UN experts release the report, defending “the integrity of the process by which the new authority was chosen.”
Meanwhile, this week, a forward team from a UN observer mission visited the capital, Tripoli, tasked with monitoring a ceasefire between the country’s rival armed factions.
According to the UN, some 20,000 mercenaries and foreign fighters were still in Libya at the beginning of December.
The January 23 deadline for their withdrawal has passed with no sign of their withdrawal.