Interim Prime Minister Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba swore that he would not hand over power until after elections, and rejected Parliament’s move a few days ago to appoint former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha as prime minister of a new government.
The arrival of the convoy confirms the danger of renewed fighting in Libya with the outbreak of the crisis, following movements in the past weeks by armed factions that support various political parties.
On Saturday, a convoy of more than 100 vehicles arrived, after Dabaiba had earlier accused Parliament of being responsible for the bloodshed and chaos in Libya over the past years.
Aqila Saleh accuses Parliament Speaker Dabaiba of corruption and seeking to use his position to achieve his own ends rather than effecting an actual transition.
Libya has seen little peace since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and its 2014 split between warring factions in the east and west.
Dabaiba was installed last year as head of the Government of National Unity, a body set up through a U.N.-backed process to unify Libya’s divided institutions and oversee the run-up to elections scheduled for December.
After the electoral process collapsed amid factional disagreements over its rules, Parliament moved to control the political process by announcing a new roadmap for elections and replacing the interim government.
A few days ago, Parliament asked Bashagha to form a new government after a session in which the Speaker said that the only other candidate withdrew, and then the former Minister of Interior was chosen in a quick vote by show of hands.
Bashagha flew to Tripoli on Thursday night before the two-week government formation process, and said he expected Dabaiba to hand over power peacefully.
Dabaiba says that he will announce within days a road map for the country leading to elections this summer.
The position of the United Nations and the major powers will be decisive in determining the outcome of the conflict over the interim government after foreign intervention in the conflict for years.
The United Nations said it still recognized the Dabaiba government and the political process of which it was part.
However, she said, on Friday, that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was informed of the parliament’s move to appoint Bashagha, and the parliament’s move with another body, the High Council of State in Libya, to chart a revised path toward elections.