The Government of National Unity (GNU) has condemned Fathi Bashagha's move to take control of the capital Tripoli by force on Tuesday.
The Parliament-appointed prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, tried to take control of the capital overnight but it was only hours before he was forced out by the administration under Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
In its statement, the GNU described the attacking forces as an 'illegal armed group' that tried to infiltrate the capital in the dead of night, spreading terror and chaos among the population.
Residents of Tripoli woke up to the sounds of heavy weapons and automatic gunfire. The Education Ministry announced the suspension of studies until further notice.
The GNU statement disclosed that orders have been circulated to all security and military units for zero tolerance towards anyone who threatens the security and safety of civilians.
The UN-recognised government affirmed its commitment to lead the country towards elections and prevent any attempts by 'some parties' to extend their stay in power or impose themselves by force above the will of the Libyan people.
It also called on the international community to condemn Bashagh's move that 'threatened the security of the citizen' and to acknowledge that anyone who carries out such an act will never be fit to be a partner in dialogue or political agreement.
Bashagha, who like Dbeibah hails from Misrata, the city of powerful armed battalions, was sworn in by the House of Representatives last March in a sassion that lacked transparency, integrity, and procedural standards, according to critics.
On many occasions, Bashagha said he would enter Tripoli without violence, while the embattled PM Dbeibah vowed he would only hand power to an elected government.
Later, Bashagha's office said he backed out 'to preserve the security and safety of citizens.'
In a show of strength, PM Dbeibah was out on the streets from the early hours of Tuesday, touring the capital's neighbourhoods and talking to the people, ensuring them that all is under control.
Images posted online this morning showed armed vehicles affiliated with the Dbeibah's administration deployed in Tripoli's streets and celebrating 'victory'.
Bashagha's move comes as representatives of the east-based Parliament backing Bashagha and its rival, the High Council of State, meet in Cairo for the second round of talks under the UN supervision, in an attempt to get the two sides to agree on the constitutional basis to hold elections.
Dozens of residents flocked to the Martyrs Square to voice their rage against Bashagha, reiterating that they would only welcome an elected government.