Fathi Bashagha, who was recently appointed as the interim prime minister by Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament to lead the country to elections last week, has started consultations to form a new government, he said in a video message posted on Facebook on Sunday.
In his message, Bashagha said he promises not to run as a candidate in the elections and that he would transfer power through peaceful and constitutional means.
He claimed that his initial talks with the military and security units were positive and that he has started consultations with parliament and the High Council of State.
Noting that interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has been a person against war and is a reputable and civilized individual, Bashagha said he believes the former will peacefully transfer power for the sake of democracy.
The parliament in eastern Libya named Bashagha the country’s new prime minister on Thursday.
Dbeibah, however, rejected the move, vowing to remain in his post until national elections are held.
Both Bashagha and Dbeibah have the support of rival armed groups in the Libyan capital.
The U.N. has continued to support Dbeibah after the house's vote. However, the U.N. said on Friday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken note of the move by parliament to appoint Bashagha and a move by parliament along with the HCS to chart out a revised path toward elections.
Stephanie Williams, the U.N. special adviser on Libya, said free and fair elections in Libya should be held "in the shortest possible time," as she met both Dbeibah and Bashagha.
Libya’s polls were scheduled on Dec. 24 but were postponed because of disagreements among political rivals. No new date for the vote has been agreed on yet.
Libyans hope the elections will help end the armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.