Libya’s internationally recognized parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk Monday rejected the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in a vote of no confidence, putting the political process in jeopardy.
Monday vote by the House of Representatives (HoR) came after many previous sessions failed due to lack of quorum. Assembly President Aguila Saleh has been accused of preventing the vote, which attracted on him western sanctions.
Monday session was attended by 101 lawmakers and in the presence of Saleh, the assembly said on its website.
“The majority of lawmakers present at the parliament session voted no confidence in the government,” said parliament spokesman Adam Boussakhra.
Sixty one lawmakers rejected the GNA, 39 abstained and only one voted in favor of the GNA led by Faez Serraj.
The HoR however gave Serraj a last chance to appoint a new cabinet in 10 days. The assembly called on Serraj to appoint a 12-member cabinet.
Serraj, in February after his appointment, named an 18-member cabinet to tackle Libya’s untold predicaments. Four members of the cabinet were fired last month for failing to take their positions.
Birthed in December out of the Libyan Political Accord, the GNA in February received support of 100 members from the 198 members of the assembly.
Monday vote is a setback to the GNA which has launched a campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group in Sirte; Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown. GNA forces thanks to the support of American airpower, which entered the campaign on August 1, have cruised through the city that is on the verge of being liberated.
The political process has stagnated over several issues mainly around the control of the future national army. The HoR rejects the Political Accord article, which leaves control of the army to the GNA.
The fate of General Khalifa Haftar, Head of Libyan National Army aligned with HoR has been a thorny issue. The HoR wants him head of the future army but the GNA’s allied western and southern regions have brushed aside the proposal.