Libya PM withdraws offer to resign

Libya’s internationally recognised prime minister, Abdullah al-Thani, has withdrawn an offer to resign, a move which would have added to the chaos in the conflict-strewn country, his spokesman said Monday.

“The prime minister didn’t submit his resignation. He backed down from his previous announcement,” Hatem el-Ouraybi told AFP.

“The government is working as normal, as usual, and is ready to go to the parliament for any possible questioning”.

Thani announced he was ready to step down during an emotional live television appearance last Tuesday in which he faced a barrage of angry questions from ordinary Libyans.

However, it was unclear whether he intended to follow through.

On television, Thani’s government was blamed for the lack of basic services such as electricity, and poor security in areas it controls.

“If my exit is the solution, then I announce it here,” Thani said. “My resignation will be submitted to the parliament on Sunday.”

But the government spokesman said at the time that Thani’s remarks had been conditional.

“The prime minister said during the interview that he would resign if people wanted him to. That’s it,” Ouraybi said, adding that no resignation letter had been submitted to parliament.

Libya, which plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, has two rival governments and parliaments as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth.

Thani’s government has been working out of the small eastern port of Tobruk near the Egyptian border since a militia alliance including Islamists captured Tripoli last year.


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