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Early elections called as fears of escalating violence grip Libya

Image of Libyans casting their votes during the 2014 elections [file photo]
Libyans casting their votes during the 2014 elections [File photo]

Libya’s eastern-based parliament has called for early elections following a collapse in a United Nations-brokered peace deal with rival authorities in the capital Tripoli.

An open letter was sent by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) to the country’s electoral commission on Tuesday requested the commission make “all the necessary arrangements to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections before February 2018,” owing to Libya’s ongoing “difficult situation” and “political struggle”.

Earlier, the HoR voted to withdraw its support for the Tripoli-based UN-backed Government of National Accord after breakaway militias backed by western Libyan factions seized oil terminals from the east’s military strongman Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Read: Libya’s eastern parliament votes against involvement in dialogue

Hafter’s Libyan National Army is allied to the internationally-recognised parliament based in eastern Libya, backed by Egypt, Russia and the UAE but rejected by the Tripoli-based government.

Libya has been a hotbed for extremists and warring militia groups since the 2011 uprising that ousted long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi. The North African country has been split into two competing parliaments and governments, supported by loyal militias and tribal factions that have forced the country into chaos.

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