Libyan political stability: 6-month outlook


Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya has been politically unstable. In 2014, two factions vied for power, one in the east in Tobruk and the other in the west in Tripoli. The Western faction known as the Government of National Unity (GNU) is led by UN-backed Prime Minister Dbeibeh. The eastern faction is led by Prime Minister Bashagha. Eight years later, the country is still without a president or a stable government and the people are increasingly unhappy. The electricity goes out, the country hemorrhages money and nothing is done. Meanwhile, the factions focus more on the struggle for power than on what’s best for the people.

Key Judgment 1: It is unlikely that the two Libyan government factions will reach an agreement in the next 6 months.

  • The main sticking point between the two parties is over the eligibility criteria for the president. The GNU refuses to allow ex-servicemen and dual citizens to be eligible. This squarely targets Khalifa Haftar, the LNA commander and a key Bashaga ally. (Source)
  • Across Libya, citizens grew weary of the two political parties due to their inability to reach an agreement. The lack of progress for years has led people to start protesting across the country. (Source)
  • Negotiations surrounding the constitutional framework in early June were largely unsuccessful. The two parties could only agree on 137 out of 195 constitutional articles. (Source)
  • The latest talks held in late June in Geneva also ended without a resolution. The two parties agree on many points such as the delimitation of the provincial territory, the distribution of seats in the legislature and the distribution of powers between the various executive authorities, among others. However, the two parties have still not been able to reach consensus on the constitutional framework for presidential elections. (Source)
Map of Libya. (Source)

Key Judgment 2: It is likely that Bashagha’s ties to the Libyan National Army will allow him to gain more international support over the next 6 months.

  • Bashagha’s party is closely aligned with Haftar and the Libyan National Army. The LNA played a key role in the 2011 revolution and continues to be closely linked to the future of the country. (Source)
  • The United States chose to invite the LNA to participate in Phoenix 22. Phoenix 22 is a large-scale multinational military training exercise with participants from 12 countries. (Source)

Key Judgment 3: It is likely that there will be a decrease in stability throughout Libya over the next 6 months.

  • Libyan experts briefed the UN Security Council at the end of June this year on the current political climate. They described the situation in Libya as “unstable, mired in leadership uncertainty, ongoing violence and women excluded from political processes”. (Source)
  • Libya has lost US$3.5 billion due to the LNA’s forced shutdowns of oil refineries. As a result, the National Oil Corporation declared force majeure on many of its contracts. Subsequently losing more than 865,000 barrels per day exports. (Source)
  • Lack of state revenue and domestic fuel has led to routine power cuts across the country. Some power cuts last up to 12 hours and are a key demand from protesters. (Source)
  • A small-scale armed conflict erupted in Tripoli following Bashagha’s attempt to seize the city from Dbeibeh. 16 people were killed and 52 others injured, including civilians. (Source)

Information deadline: July 25, 2022

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