Libya’s internationally recognized parliament has rejected a UN proposal for a national unity government, two lawmakers said Monday, dealing a major blow to efforts to end the country’s civil strife.
The House of Representatives, based in the far eastern city of Tobruk, rejected the government line-up proposed by UN envoy Bernardino Leon after a stormy eight-hour session, deputy Aisa Aribi told dpa.
The parliament rejected the latest version of the UN peace plan, demanding a return to an earlier draft, Aribi said.
Deputy Abdul-Mutallib Thabit, quoted by Libyan news site al-Wasat, confirmed that the parliament had rejected the prime minister and deputy prime ministers proposed by Leon.
The development came on the eve of a Tuesday deadline set by the envoy for Libya’s two rival parliaments and governments to sign off on the deal.
The UN Security Council called Friday on all parties to approve the agreement, warning that those undermining “the successful conclusion” of Libya’s transition process could face sanctions.
The rival Islamist-leaning parliament based in the capital, Tripoli, has yet to take an official position on the deal. It was thought to be awaiting the outcome of the Tobruk assembly’s deliberations.
Libya has seen over a year of conflict between militias backing the internationally recognized government based in the east and those supporting its Islamist rival in Tripoli.
The conflict has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and has added to the waves of refugees fleeing by sea to Europe.
The last year has seen the Islamic State extremist group take advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold on the southern shore of the Mediterranean.
The country has suffered from turmoil since a 2011 revolt toppled dictator Moamer Gaddafi, with a succession of governments unable to impose their authority over the numerous militias that arose during the uprising.