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Libya: The art of compromise, as practised by Fathi Bashagha

By Sarah Vernhes

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Posted on May 2, 2022 11:36

Libya’s Bashagha speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tunis
Libya’s Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister by the eastern-based parliament this month, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tunis, Tunisia March 30, 2022. Picture taken March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Jihed Abidellaoui

From his mandate as a member of parliament to his ministerial position, the prime minister of Tobruk has forged his career through compromise.

Deprived of a government seat, the ‘second’ Libyan Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha is trying to take control. Elected by the Tobruk parliament, he held his first government meeting in Sabha on 21 April. This will have to do for now, since he cannot return to Tripoli, where he wants to be, without using force.

From visiting Fezzan, to an appearance among fans at the Benina football stadium, at construction sites, or with the medical staff of the Al-Hawari hospital in Benghazi, Bashaga has been doing what he can to be visible.

It’s also to prevent his rival, the prime minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, from taking up all the space. Dbeibeh still holds office in the capital and refuses to give up his position. Defeating him will be no easy task since he still has control over the country’s finances, via the Libyan Central Bank, which remains loyal to him.

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