Libyan Parliament Scuppers Unity Gov’t

Libyan Parliament Scuppers Unity Gov’tLibyan Parliament Scuppers Unity Gov’t

Libya’s internationally recognized parliament has voted no confidence in the fragile UN-backed unity government.

The political chaos that has beset Libya since the 2011 overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi looks set to continue.

The House of Representatives, Libya’s recognized legislature based in the country’s east near the Egyptian border, refused on Monday to support the Government of National Accord, a body that resulted from UN talks with Libyan officials to establish a government for the country, Deutsche Welle reported.

A rival government in the east has refused to cede power until the House of Representatives passes a vote of confidence and this has been stymied by procedural issues in recent months.

Monday’s vote was “the first time quorum has been reached in five months”, parliament spokesman, Adam Boussakhra, said.

“But the majority of lawmakers present in the parliament session voted no confidence in the government,” Boussakhra added.

Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh as well as 101 MPs attended Monday’s vote, the assembly said on its website, with 61 rejecting the GNA, 39 abstaining and a lone MP voting confidence in the government in the 198-member legislature.

It was unclear whether following the vote, the GNA in its present form would continue to seek endorsement from the parliament.

After the no confidence vote, MPs gave the prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj a 10-day deadline to come up with a new unity government. The unity government came about as a result of a UN-brokered power-sharing deal last December.

Support for GNA is widely seen as a precondition for restoring some stability in the beleaguered country and for effectively taking on the Libyan branch of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

Pro-GNA fighters, backed by US airstrikes, have reportedly recaptured ground from militants holed up in the center of Sirte in recent days. The fighters took control of Sirte—Gaddafi’s hometown—in June 2015, which raised fears they would use the city to launch attacks across the Mediterranean Sea in Europe.