Fayez al-Serraj, the prime minister of Libya’s internationally recognised government, said on Wednesday he intended to hand over power by the end of October.
Al-Serraj, the head of the UN-recognised government of National Accord (GNA), said this in a televised speech.
“I declare my sincere intention to hand over the tasks of power to the coming executive authority in a time no later than October,” al-Serraj said.
He added that the political and social situation in Libya was in a state of severe polarisation, making all attempts to reach a political settlement to prevent bloodshed difficult.
The premier acknowledged that recent UN-sponsored consultations between Libyan rivals have led to a new preparatory phase to unify state institutions and to pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Al-Serraj is the head of the Tripoli-based Presidency Council, established by a UN-brokered political agreement signed in December 2015.
The council presides over a government in Tripoli, with al-Serraj serving as prime minister.
Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moamer Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces.
The oil-rich country has two competing administrations: the GNA in Tripoli and a government based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is allied with commander Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar has been laying siege to Tripoli in a bid to seize it from the GNA since April 2019.
In recent months, Libyans have increasingly suffered from frequent power outages and short water supplies.
In the capital Tripoli, hundreds of demonstrators on Sunday gathered outside the headquarters of the Presidential Council, denouncing lack of basic services and calling for long-delayed elections to be held in the North African country.
Also, protests in the country’s east, controlled by Haftar, prompted the government led by Abdullah al-Thanni to offer its resignation on Sunday.