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Libya's eastern authority withdraws confidence in UN-backed gov't

Libya’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah on June 24, 2021 [Matt Dunham/WPA Pool/Getty Images]
Libya’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah on June 24, 2021 [Matt Dunham/WPA Pool/Getty Images]

Libya's eastern-based parliament said today it had withdrawn confidence from the unity government, though it would continue to operate as a caretaker administration, Reuters reports.

The vote in the House of Representatives exemplifies the wrangling between rival factions and state bodies that have plagued UN-backed efforts to resolve Libya's decade-long crisis by establishing a unity government and holding national elections.

In 2014, eastern and western factions split Libya in two in a civil war, with an internationally recognised government in Tripoli and a rival administration backed by the House of Representatives in the east.

Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah's unity government was selected through a UN-sponsored dialogue and his government was installed by the House of Representatives in March.

Dbeibeh has a mandate to unify state institutions, improve government services and prepare for national presidential and parliamentary elections.

However, today, after parliament summoned Dbeibeh and his ministers to answer questions this month, 89 of the 113 members present voted to withdraw confidence in him, the chamber's spokesman and several other parliament members said.

There was no immediate comment from the government.

READ: Leaked audio shows Libya PM questioning Egypt judiciary's integrity

The UN forum decided that presidential and parliamentary elections should take place on 24 December, but disagreements now rage over the legal basis for the votes and the laws that will govern them.

This month, parliamentary speaker Aguila Saleh said the House of Representatives passed a law for the presidential election, though it did not hold a final vote on the bill.

The validity of that law was promptly challenged by the High Council of State based in Tripoli, in the west, which produced its own, alternative election law.

The House of Representatives, which was elected seven years ago but divided when Libya split, has not yet produced a law for a parliamentary election.

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