Libya's recognised parliament rejects U.N.-backed unity government

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2016 9:03 AM

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Libya's internationally recognised parliament voted on Monday to reject a unity government proposed under a U.N.-backed plan to resolve the country's political crisis and armed conflict.

Of 104 members attending the session in the eastern city of Tobruk, 89 voted against backing the government.

Since 2014, Libya has had two competing parliaments and governments, one based in Tripoli and the other in the east. Both are backed by loose alliances of armed groups and former rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Eastern lawmakers said the proposed 32-member government had been rejected because it included too many posts. They said that the Tunis-based Presidential Council now had 10 days to put forward a new, shorter list of ministers.

Lawmaker Mohamed al-Abani told Reuters that the proposed administration also did not represent the interests of the Libyan people but had been formed "according to the demands of militia leaders".

In a second vote, the Tobruk parliament approved the U.N.-mediated agreement that sets out a political transition for Libya and under which the Presidential Council operates. However, lawmakers rejected a clause that transfers power over the armed forces to the prime minister.

Representatives from both sides of Libya's political divide signed the U.N.-backed plan in Morocco in December, but the agreement has faced stiff opposition from many members of the two parliaments and from factions on the ground.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli in Benghazi; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Dominic Evans)