The PM of Libya’s Tripoli-based government, Fayez al-Sarraj, has announced he will step down in October “at the latest,” citing progress for peace and a need for new elections.
Rabat – Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of Libya’s western government in Tripoli has announced his resignation, effective by the end of October. He plans to stay on as a caretaker PM but urges a new election to help establish a unity government.
The shifting sands in Libya’s political scene have resulted in the coming resignation of the PM. He had announced his plans on September 15 and has since elaborated on his reasoning. The prime minister of the UN-recognized government hopes his resignation will spur on elections to establish a national unity government in Libya.
Negotiations between the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) and the western Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli will now center on agreeing in a new central presidential council that unifies both governments into one.
Al-Sarraj’s resignation announcement followed a day of large demonstrations in Libya. Tripoli saw protests over the prime minister’s political appointment of Mohammed Bayo, a former Gaddafi-loyalist. Protesters expressed concern that the appointment of a former member of Gaddafi’s revolutionary guard was a significant step in the wrong direction.
The demonstrations against al-Sarraj’s decisions featured a variety of injured veterans who had fought to relieve the siege of Tripoli in 2019. The demonstration gathered around the headquarters of the presidential council and protested the controversial appointment of Bayo as well as calling for increased living standards and an end to power cuts.
Al-Sarraj’s pending resignation is just one of many across Libya’s split political scene. The Eastern parliament headed by Aguila Saleh Issa submitted its resignation on September 14. While the wave of resignations among Libya’s political elite might destabilize ongoing political negotiations, many Libyans will undoubtedly cheer the chance to express their political opinion in new elections for a national unity government.
Libya’s peace progress started unexpectedly with the sudden declaration of a ceasefire after the disappearance of LNA leader Khalifa Haftar, who vanished after a meeting with Egyptian intelligence. Delegations have been meeting in Geneva and Bouznika, Morocco, where significant progress was made that could lead to an unexpected and welcome peace.