The Libyan parliament withheld confidence from Bashagha
On May 16, 2023, the Libyan Parliament announced a vote of no confidence in Fathi Bashagha, the head of the government formed by him, and assigned Finance Minister Osama Al-Hammad, who has a close relationship with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his sons, to run the duties of the Prime Minister.
The dismissal decision came nearly 15 months after the announcement of the Bashagha government in eastern Libya. The Parliament justified its decision by the government's failure to fulfill its obligations and the absence of financial transparency.
It is noteworthy that not all members of Parliament (174 members) attended the no-confidence session. Most likely, the decision taken by part of the Libyan Parliament, which is based in Benghazi, in the east of the country, reflects the existence of differences between the leaders of the East regarding the form and contents of the future stage in the country. Saddam Khalifa Haftar is considered the most prominent supporter of the idea of dismissing Bashagha, and the refusal of Aqila Saleh, who was absent from the session, so that First Vice President Fawzi Al-Nuwairi chaired the session instead. Such a scene reflects a rift at the level of the Parliament itself.
It is not unlikely that Saddam Khalifa Haftar exerted pressure to push a bloc in parliament to issue a decision of no confidence in Bashagha, in the context of undisclosed understandings with the national unity government led by Abdul Hamid Dabaiba. Information has recently been circulated about a meeting that took place in May 2023, bringing together Saddam Khalifa Haftar with representatives of the National Unity Government to discuss the transitional period in Libya.
Bashagha’s choice to head the government in February 2022 was an expression of Haftar’s political shrewdness, given that Bashagha was the spearhead in thwarting Operation Dignity, which Haftar himself led to control Tripoli, before Haftar again worked to overthrow him after his role in dividing the Western camp ended.
The process of excluding Bashagha, who was competing with the government of Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba, may open the door to the formation of a mini-unified government in the country that would oversee the administration of elections with international and regional auspices.
It is not expected that the decision of no confidence in Fathi Bashagha will harm the interests of regional actors, as both eastern and western Libya need the support of Egypt and Turkey.
The head of the national unity government, Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba, is considered the biggest beneficiary of this decision, given that Bashagha's government was established with the aim of undermining al-Dabaiba's authority over western Libya.
This decision also represents another indication of the end of Bashagha, as an influential actor in the scene, as he is no longer able even to win over the actors in his city of Misrata, let alone the West as a whole.