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Libya PM-in-waiting accuses rival of blocking swearing-in

TRIPOLI (AFP) – The Libyan Parliament’s pick for prime minister has accused his rival in Tripoli of blocking ministers-in-waiting from travelling to the eastern-based assembly to be sworn in.

Former interior minister Fathi Bashagha was appointed last month by the war-torn country’s Parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk, and his administration was to be sworn in yesterday.

But Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, the head of an interim government appointed in February last year with a mandate to lead the country to elections, has refused to cede power except to an elected government.

In a letter to the prosecutor seen by AFP yesterday, Bashagha accused “the outgoing government (of) closing Libya’s entire airspace”.

“This is a violation of the right to movement and an attack (on his government) which is prevented from carrying out its duties,” he said in the letter dated Wednesday.

Libya’s Parliament has been based in the eastern city of Tobruk, hundreds of miles east of Tripoli, since an east-west schism in 2014 following the revolt that had toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi and thrown the country into chaos three years earlier.

Fathi Bashagha speaks in Tripoli, Libya. PHOTO: AP

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