Libya’s Eastern Parliament Votes Against U.N.-backed Government in Tripoli
Reuters reports that the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has been repudiated by the rival Tobruk-based parliament.
Opponents of Libya’s U.N.-backed unity government dealt the beleaguered body a blow on Monday by voting to reject it in a rare session of the eastern-based parliament, though the government’s supporters dismissed the move as unconstitutional. The Government of National Accord (GNA), the product of a U.N.-backed deal signed in December, has been seeking endorsement for months as it tries to extend its influence and authority beyond its base in Tripoli, in western Libya.
It is not clear what the effects of this rejection will be.
Western powers have been counting on the GNA to tackle Libya’s security vacuum – including the presence of Islamic State – revive oil production, and stem the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. But power-brokers in the east say it is trying to undermine the military.
One reason for opposition to the GNA in the east is the reluctance of power holders there to grant the Tripoli government authority over military appointments. Dominant eastern factions support forces led by General Khalifa Haftar, who has been waging a military campaign against Islamists and other opponents in Benghazi and parts of the east. They say the GNA is dependent on Islamist-leaning armed groups. “We reject this government because it is waging a war against the institution of the military, and it wants to support the role of militias on the Libyan stage,” said GNA opponent Abubakr al-Ghazali following the vote.
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