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Rabat — Early Wednesday, Libyan lawmakers voted to confirm the country’s new provisional government elected at the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) peace talks last month in Tunis.
The now-confirmed interim leadership will take the place of Libya’s current rival eastern and western governments, unifying the country and working to maintain stability until a set of nationwide democratic elections anticipated for December.
“This a historic day for the House Representatives,” declared Speaker Aguila Saleh after the widely-anticipated vote, which came after two days of intense deliberation in the coastal city of Sirte.
Saleh, who observers expect to run for the permanent prime minister seat in December, had previously advocated for a suspension on the vote amid allegations that acting Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah “bought votes” in last month’s LPDF elections.
Dbeibah surrogates “offered bribes between $150,000 to $200,000 to at least three LPDF participants if they committed to vote for Dbeibah as Prime Minister,” according to a report set to be presented to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) later this month.
“I believe it is appropriate to delay the session until the [UN] report is made public,” Saleh said, “and if it indeed says there were bribes, then those who committed them must be excluded.”
Dbeibah’s office vehemently denied the allegations, instead accusing political adversaries of “undermining the process of forming a government and obstructing the process of approving it by spreading rumors and false reports.”
Despite the accusations, Libyan lawmakers voted decisively to approve Dbeibah’s interim government on a vote of 132-2, with 36 members absent.
“Through this vote, it became clear that the Libyans are one unit,” Dbeibah said. He urged Libyans to “open your hearts to one another and forget the grudges.”
Dbeibah’s slate of nominees included 33 ministers and two deputy prime ministers that he says are representative of all Libya’s geographic regions and social sects.
After Wednesday’s vote, Dbeibah delivered a brief but emotional speech calling for unity and peace in the war-torn country. “This will be the government of all Libyans,” he said.