Libya’s Tobruk parliament warns against UN-backed cabinet

Libya’s rival Tobruk parliament says UN-backed cabinet, without its approval, may deepen crisis

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Members of forces loyal to Libya's rival government walk next to a tank during clashes in Benghazi.

UN moves to support a unity cabinet in Libya without vote of approval from its eastern parliament may deepen the nation’s turmoil, Libya’s rival parliament in Tobruk said on Friday.

Libya is divided between several authorities - with the General National Council (GNC) administering the country’s capital, Tripoli, and the rival House of Representatives based in Tobruk. The UN-backed cabinet is the latest attempt to establish a single authority in the country.

But the cabinet is still based in Tunis and trying to set up itself in Libya, where it is facing opposition from hardliners on both sides of the country's conflict.

The Libya’s unity government-in-waiting has urged for an immediate transfer of power, and its prime minister said in an interview broadcast on Thursday that it is evacuating from Tunis to Tripoli in the “next few days.”

Libya’s parliaments have been pushing for the unity government to start work, saying it holds the best hope for halting Libya's crisis and tackling the growing threat posed by DAESH.

Western powers assume the UN-backed designated government represents the best chance of ending the chaos that has destabilised Libya since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in an uprising five years ago, and to tackle a security vacuum that has allowed DAESH terrorist group to thrive.

However, the Tobruk parliament said in a statement on Friday that while it supported the unity cabinet, any attempt to impose it represented an "abuse of Libyan sovereignty and a lack of respect for the democratic process."

"It will deepen the Libyan crisis and the economic situation, increase division, and shatter the political accord built on consensus," it said.

It also called on local and international bodies to work with the new government only after parliament ratification.

The Tobruk parliament has repeatedly failed to vote to ratify the unity government, but a majority of its members signed a statement of support last month.

The United States and European powers cited that statement when they declared on Sunday that the unity cabinet was the "only legitimate government in Libya."

TRTWorld, Reuters