Libyan parliament overwhelmingly rejects U.N.-supported unity government

Members of the proposed government were named last week, but the internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk voted 89-15 against the measure.
By Fred Lambert  |  Jan. 26, 2016 at 5:30 PM
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TOBRUK, Libya, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The internationally-recognized parliament in Tobruk, Libya, voted Tuesday to reject a proposed national unity government developed last week during talks brokered by the United Nations.

Of the more than 100 MPs attending the Monday session, 89 reportedly voted against backing the new government.

Following the 2011 ouster of Libya's former Brotherly Leader and Revolution leader, Moammar Gadhafi, rebel groups turned against each other and formed competing governments in the east and west of the country -- the government in Tobruk and the General National Congress in Tripoli.

A U.N.-brokered deal in December saw the rival governments agree to form a unified cabinet -- and following negotiations in Tunis last week, 32 names of proposed cabinet members were sent to Tobruk for approval.

At the time, however, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Algetrani said the nominations were "illegitimate" since only seven members of the nine-man Presidency Council, which was to suggest ministers in the new government, signed off on the proposal.

The U.N. has urged the GNC and officials in Tobruk to endorse a unified cabinet and end bloodshed in Libya, but multiple politicians and armed groups are opposed to a unity government.

Neither governing body endorsed a previous U.N. power-sharing deal in October.

In January 2015, the GNC and the Tobruk government agreed to a U.N.-backed cease-fire, but several militant groups not aligned with either governing body -- including an Islamic State affiliate -- did not recognize the deal.

The rejection comes amid an increase in Islamic State attacks against Libya's oil infrastructure.

The Presidential Council in Tunis now has nine days to put forth a newer and shorter list of nominees for the proposed government.

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