Fathi Bashagha is a former interior minister

Parliament in war-torn Libya has unanimously approved a new interim prime minister in a move that threatens to spark a new power struggle in the country as there already is someone else who holds that position.

Rival factions have been vying for control: the parliament is based in the east of the country and a government of national unity sits in the capital, Tripoli.

The appointment by MPs of Fathi Bashagha – a former interior minister – will be a direct challenge to Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah’s administration.

Mr Dbeibah was chosen as prime minister last year in a UN-backed process. But parliament believes his mandate has expired as he was supposed to handover after an election in December. That poll however was postponed and Mr Dbeibah vowed to stay on until the vote takes place.

Parliament, though, sees things differently.

The delayed election is a key part of a UN-backed political roadmap aimed at ending years of violence and instability.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Dbeibah escaped an apparent assassination attempt when his car was hit by several bullets in Tripoli.

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