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Libyan Prime Minister to discuss appointment of defense minister with Government of National Unity Presidency Council

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Libyan Prime Minister to discuss appointment of defense minister with Government of National Unity Presidency Council

Libyan Prime Minister Dbeibeh to meet with Presidential Council
Photo: The Libya Observer

Libya’s interim-Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh is scheduled to meet with the Presidential Council today to discuss an ongoing dispute regarding the appointment of a defense minister.

Dbeibeh has the mandate to lead Libya towards scheduled elections on December 24. The three-member interim-Presidency wants him to nominate a defense minister, otherwise they threaten to do it themselves. However, Dbeibeh, who also acts as interim-defense minister, has stated only he can appoint the defense minister.

Whether Dbeibeh attends today’s meeting is uncertain. If the meeting happens, agreement is unlikely as Dbeibah will almost certainly argue his cabinet, including him as defense minister, was overwhelmingly approved 132-2 by parliamentary vote in March.

Dbeibeh clearly seeks a hands-on role in overseeing the transition of the military—the most important institution in Libyan politics. Still unresolved is how opposing militias from the warring west and east of the country will be incorporated into a unified military—if at all.  The Army also faces threats from various foreign-backed militias which remain in operation including Russian-backed warlord Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

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However, should the dispute remain unresolved, it potentially undermines Dbeibah’s leadership in transitioning the military to ensure the security and viability of December’s elections.

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