Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh

Libyan politician and architect

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Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh
Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh (15-04-2021).jpg
al-Dbeibeh in 2021
Prime Minister of Libya
Assumed office
15 March 2021*
PresidentMohamed al-Menfi
DeputyHussein Al-Qatrani
Preceded byFayez al-Sarraj
Minister of Defense
Assumed office
15 March 2021
PresidentMohamed al-Menfi
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded bySalah Eddine al-Namroush
Personal details
Born
Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba

(1959-02-13) February 13, 1959 (age 63)
Misrata, Kingdom of Libya[1]
Political partyIndependent
*Dbeibeh's premiership is disputed by Fathi Bashagha since 3 March 2022.[2]

Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh (Arabic: عبدالحميد محمد الدبيبة also spelled Dbeibah; born 13 February 1959[3]) is a Libyan politician and businessman who is the prime minister of Libya's interim Government of National Unity. His appointment on 5 February 2021 came through the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, and he was expected to hold the office of leader until elections on 24 December 2021, which was later postponed.[4]

Early life and education

Dbeibeh was born on February 13, 1959, in the western city of Misrata.[1] Dbeibeh claimed to have earned a Master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto in 1992; however, the university has denied Dbeibeh's claims.[5][6] The information was published days prior to December 24, 2021 Libyan elections, thus allowing for controversy over the Presidential candidate's false claims and fabrications in relation to his educational career.[7] Under Libyan electoral law, candidates are required to have a university degree from an accredited university.[6]

Business career

Dbeibeh returned to Misrata during a construction boom, gaining the trust of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who appointed him as the head of Libyan Investment and Development Company (LIDCO), a major construction firm responsible for some of the country's biggest public works projects, including the construction of 1,000 housing units in the leader's hometown of Sirte.[1] After Gaddafi’s fall in 2011, he was sanctioned for corruption by Libya’s new transitional government.[8]

During his career as a businessman he was involved with politics as a trusted person of the ruling Arab Socialist Union.

Dbeibeh was the manager of the Al-Ittihad Football Club.[9]

Political career

In 2020, he founded Libya al-Mustakbal (Libya Future) Movement. Dbeibeh has been described as an independent. Al-Dabaiba campaigned jointly on the presidential ticket with Mohamed al-Menfi and Musa Al-Koni as vice president. Al-Dabaiba's government is the first unified government since 2014.[10] Dbeibeh was elected as Prime Minister of Libya to lead a temporary unified executive in February 2021. Dbeibeh's list obtained 39 votes, five more than that of Aguila Saleh Issa and Fathi Bashagha.[11] Dbeibeh faced accusations that he had attempted to bribe some of the delegates at the LPDF via his cousin, the wealthy businessman Ali al-Dbeibeh.[12] The list including Aguila Saleh and Fathi Bashagha was perceived to be favoured by the United States of America. The US ambassador denied any attempt to influence the electoral process.[13]

Dbeibeh was required under the agreements made by the LPDF to nominate a cabinet of ministers and propose the selection to the House of Representatives (HoR) for a vote of confidence by 26 February 2021, which was expected to establish the Government of National Unity.[14]

His position has been contested since 10 February 2022, after Fathi Bashagha was selected too as prime minister by the Libyan House of Representatives. However, Dbeibeh rejected Bashagha's appointment as prime minister, stating that he will only hand power after a national election.[15] Khalifa Haftar and his Libya National Army welcomed Bashagha's appointment.[16] On 10 February 2022, he survived an assassination attempt when assailants fired bullets into his car. According to a government source close to him, he was unharmed amid intense factional wrangling for government control.[17] The United Nations continues to recognize Dbeibeh as interim prime minister.[18]

Personal life

He is the cousin and brother in law of Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba, previously the head of state-owned development contractor LIDCO, who was in 2012 on a list of sanctioned officials, subject of an Interpol red notice and arrested in 2014. He is estimated to have embezzled as much as $7 billion at 2011 rates from contracts LIDCO had issued under his leadership, per Suisse secrets.[8]

Criticism

Wolfgang Pusztai, a former Austrian diplomat based in Libya, said that Dbeibeh's reputation was contentious for the prime ministership, since he was alleged to be involved in "corruption, money laundering, financing of the Muslim Brotherhood, vote buying". Pusztai felt that the truth of the claims was irrelevant to the political situation of 2021, since it was the perceptions that counted.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Abdul Hamid Dbeibah: Who is Libya's new prime minister?". Al Jazeera. 6 February 2021. Archived from the original on 19 February 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Libyan parliament swears in new PM as crisis deepens". Al Jazeera. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  3. ^ "ليبيا: ثورة 17 فبراير تنتصر مرة أخرى والكل يرحب بالسلطة الجديدة". afrique2050 (in Arabic). Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  4. ^ "UN-led Libya forum selects new interim government". Al Jazeera. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Dbeibeh allegedly fakes international diplomas on his CV".
  6. ^ a b "Toronto University denies that Dbeibeh has obtained a certificate from its faculties". 23 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Libye | Une présidentielle à haut risque fait des vagues jusqu'au Canada". 21 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b OCCRP (22 February 2022). "Libyans Who Looted Gaddafi's Graft-Ridden Development Fund Banked at Credit Suisse". Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  9. ^ "Profile of Libya's new executive authority heads". Anadolu Agency. 6 February 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Libya Lawmakers Approve First Unified Government Since 2014". 10 March 2021 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  11. ^ Sami Zaptia (5 February 2021). "BREAKING: New unified Libyan government selected by LPDF in Geneva". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  12. ^ Abdul Hmaid al-Dabaiba: All Libyans respect Ali al-Dabaiba, and bribes are not among our morals (In Arabic) 16 November 2020.
  13. ^ Sami Zaptia (4 February 2021). "U.S denies attempting to influence LPDF process". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  14. ^ Zaptia, Sami (15 February 2021). "Aldabaiba and Menfi continue to hold meetings ahead of government formation and approval by parliament". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 16 February 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Libya rifts deepen as new PM named, incumbent refuses to yield". Reuters. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Libya: Tobruk parliament names new PM, fuelling division". Al Jazeera. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Libyan PM survives assassination attempt, source close to him says". CNN News. 10 February 2022. p. 1. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  18. ^ "UN backs Libya's interim PM despite lawmakers' challenge". DW. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
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