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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

Libya’s Dbeibah Promises Populist Spending Plan

FILE PHOTO: Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah speaks after submitting his candidacy papers for the presidential election at the headquarters of the electoral commission in Tripoli, Libya November 21, 2021. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed

Libya's interim prime minister announced a series of populist spending plans on Friday as he sought to strengthen his position against a push by the eastern-based parliament to replace him, Reuters reported.

Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, who has sworn only to hand over power after an election, pledged help for Libyans buying land and homes, and said he would raise some state salaries and continue to subsidize weddings.

However, his position and that of the internationally recognized Government of National Unity (GNU) that he represents hangs in the balance with the parliament tasking former interior minister Fathi Bashagha to form a new administration.

Dbeibah, who outlined the plan in a speech marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that forced out Muammar Gaddafi, says he does not recognize the validity of Bashagha's appointment.

Bashagha has been holding consultations with political and regional factions and is due to propose a new cabinet next week - a moment that may determine the success or failure of the parliament's push to replace Dbeibah.

It comes at a key moment in the fragile attempt to wrest Libya from more than a decade of chaos and violence after the collapse in December of a planned national election, as many Libyans fear the new political crisis could trigger new strife.

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