Libyan The Libyan parliament has approved a new transitional unified government. This paves the way for the embattled North African country to have its first elections since the violent ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. 

The national elections have been ambitiously slated to take place on December 24.

Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), transferred power on Tuesday to Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah and Mohammad Younes Menfi, who chairs a three-member presidential council.

Dbeibah and his cabinet were sworn in during a ceremony in Tobruk. Dbeibah, 61, is a wealthy businessman from the western port city of Misrata, who once served in the government of Qaddafi. He is also known to be a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and close to Turkey.

The oil-rich country of Libya has been plunged into chaos since a revolt against the strongman Qaddafi began in 2011 with NATO backing. Qaddafi was deposed and later killed after an American drone spotted his fleeing entourage. The drone called in French fighters and the NATO airstrike destroyed a joint civilian/military convoy in which he and his supporters were riding in. He and senior members of his inner circle hid in drainage pipes. 

Rebel forces found, captured, tortured, and then killed him with a bullet to the head. The entire spectacle was filmed on cell phones and broadcast on several news stations.

Rather than unite the country, the ouster and death of the Libyan strongman plunged it into civil war and chaos. Less than a year later, gunmen allied with al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. consulate killing three Americans including Ambassador Stevens

The GNA was battling with General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) forces from the east. Haftar has been supported by Egypt, the U.A.E., France, and Russia. The GNA has been supported by NATO and Turkey, which has brought into the fight several proxy militias.