Libya parliament in two minds over UN-backed government

Libya's unity government's Prime Minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj chairs a meeting of the presidential council with Tripoli municipal council in Tripoli, Libya, 31 March 2016


Libya’s parliament has postponed a vote of confidence on a UN-backed unity government. The international community sees the proposed government as the best hope for Libya, but parliament remains split.

The internationally-recognized parliament was to have met Monday in the eastern city of Tobruk, but failed to take place because of “big differences,” AFP reported.

A house divided

Formed under a power-sharing deal agreed by some members of parliament in December, the Government of National Accord (GNA) under prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj, has been working to assert its authority but needs formal endorsement from parliament and support from a rival administration.

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi. It has had two rival administrations since a militia alliance took over Tripoli in mid-2014, setting up its own authority and forcing the elected parliament to flee to Tobruk. The head of the Tripoli administration, Khalifa Ghweil, has refused to recognise the authority of the Sarraj government, which he deems illegal.

The GNA on Monday took over the ministries of housing and public works and social affairs in Tripoli. The takeover of a third ministry – youth and sports – has reportedly been delayed, although deputy premier Ahmed Maiteeq said the government would begin running the three ministries regardless of the result of the confidence vote.

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