Politics

Libya’s internationally recognized head of government wants to resign

Fayez al-Sarraj announced this move on state television.

The head of the internationally recognized government of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, wants to resign. He announced his intention in a speech televised on state television on Wednesday. “I declare my sincere wish to transfer my duties to a new executive authority by the end of October at the latest.”

Sarraj is Prime Minister of the so-called unity government, which is based in Tripoli. In contrast, the east and large parts of the south of Libya are controlled by a rival government.

In the capital Tripoli and other cities there have been repeated protests against corruption and the deteriorating living conditions in recent weeks. Hundreds of demonstrators had called for political reforms in the North African country.

The unity government was formed in 2015 after mediation by the United Nations with the aim of stabilizing the North African country. Libya was thrown into chaos in 2011 after the fall of long-time ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi. Sarraj’s resignation could fuel political uncertainty.

But he also comes at a time when his government, with the support of Turkey, succeeded in stopping a 14-month offensive by the renegade General Chalifa Haftar on Tripoli in June. Sarraj had called for a ceasefire in August, but the Russian-backed Haftar refused. On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Türk that Turkey and Russia had come closer to a ceasefire agreement at their last meeting in Ankara.

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