Libya’s incumbent Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said in a press conference on Monday that he will announce a plan this week to hold presidential elections as early as June.
Mr Dbeibah’s comments came as he contests a vote by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives to appoint former interior minister Fathi Bashagha as the country’s interim prime minister.
Presidential elections scheduled for December 24 fell through after disputes over the final list of candidates. Mr Dbeibah and Mr Bashagha had both registered to run in the polls.
Mr Dbeibah, who refuses to cede power except to an elected government, said on Monday that the ”train towards elections had started to move” and would not stop until a ”legitimate authority is elected”.
UN special adviser on Libya Stephanie Williams has repeatedly called on the Libyan authorities to refrain from selecting a new interim government and to focus on holding elections instead.
Ms Williams met Mr Dbeibah on Sunday, followed by meeting with Mr Bashagha.
She recognised Mr Bashagha as Libya’s “PM designate” while describing Mr Dbeibah as the country’s head of the Government of National Unity, which was set up by UN mandate last year to end the conflict between rival governments in the east and west.
After the parliamentary vote, a military convoy of at least 100 vehicles arrived in Tripoli from Misurata — home to both Mr Bashagha and Mr Dbeibah — in a show of force to support the incumbent prime minister.
Libya spiralled into civil war after the dictator Muammar Qaddafi was toppled and killed in a Nato-backed uprising in 2011.
Qaddafi’s son Saif Al Islam was among those who registered to run in the December presidential election.
Mr Bashagha said he would not seek to contest future presidential elections.