Libya’s elected parliament rejects UN unity govt proposal

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Libya’s elected parliament rejected a U.N. draft proposal to form a unity government and withdrew from talks aimed at ending the country’s crippling power struggle, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.

The decision will be a blow to efforts by United Nations Special Envoy Bernardino Leon, who had only on Monday presented a new proposal to form a unity government after hosting negotiations between the factions for months.

Libya is in chaos, with two governments and parliaments fighting for territory and oil resources. The official administration has been based in the east since a rival faction seized Tripoli in August, setting up a rival government.

The eastern parliament has also banned its delegates from traveling to Germany for a meeting with European and North African leaders to discuss Leon’s proposal, lawmaker Tareq al-Jouroushi told Reuters.
“A majority of deputies voted to reject the proposal,” he said by telephone from Tobruk, an eastern city where the House of Representatives is now based. The house’s spokesman Farraj Hashem could not be immediately reached for comment.

Late on Monday, Leon submitted his fourth proposal for a unity government. Delegates from both factions had been expected to head to Germany before returning to consult with their political bases and traveling back to Morocco for more talks.

The U.N. proposal calls for a one-year-long government of national accord, where a council of ministers headed by a prime minister with two deputies will have executive authority.

Jouroushi said lawmakers objected to including the Tripoli parliament in the U.N. proposal. “The proposal does not reflect the legitimacy of the elected parliament,” he said.

The House of Representatives will be the only legislative body, the deal states. The accord also calls for a 120-member State Council consultative body, consisting of members of the Tripoli parliament.

Both sides of the conflict are under pressure from hardliners who favour a military solution.

Joroushi is the son of the eastern government’s air force commander, whose force have been battling Islamists in the eastern city if Benghazi for a year.

Four years after a NATO-backed uprising that ousted Gaddafi, the conflict has battered Libya’s oil industry and allowed Islamic State militants to gain a foothold in cities such as Derna and Sirte.