Reports: Libyan parliament fails to approve unity government

Libya's internationally recognized parliament Monday withheld approval from a UN-backed national unity government and shot down a key clause in the peace agreement, lawmakers said.

The parliament instead asked the presidential council formed last month by members of the country's two rival assemblies to come back to it with a smaller cabinet line-up, Benghazi parliamentarian Abu Bakr Baira told broadcaster Libya HD.

Formation of the proposed Goverment of National Accord is key to the plan to end Libya's civil conflict, which has left the country with two rival governments and parliaments as well as a rapidly expanding Islamic State presence.

The parliament, based in the far-eastern city of Tobruk, also rejected a clause of the peace agreement giving the presidential council command of the armed forces, Baira and other lawmakers confirmed to a number of Libyan news outlets.

That clause has been rejected by supporters of powerful Tobruk army chief Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar has considerable influence in the internationally recognized Tobruk administration but he is unacceptable to the rival Islamist-leaning administration that controls the capital Tripoli.

The United Nations, European Union and other powers have been pushing for the UN-backed deal to go into effect.

They are concerned by the Islamic State extremist group's expanding territory on Libya's Mediterranean coast, and by large-scale people-smuggling from Libya to Italy.

Last update: Mon, 25/01/2016 - 17:51
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