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A vote for divided Libya

· Tobruk-based House of Representatives regects vote of confidence in the Government of National Accord presided over by Fayez al-Sarraj ·

Libya remains divided between factions and militias that hold power. It is a division which, in addition to the risk of nullifying the efforts undertaken by international diplomacy, favours the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which has retreated to Sirte but still occupies spaces that have been vacated by the political chaos. 

The Government of National Accord, led by Fayez Al Sarraj, on which the United Nations and the international community had pinned their hopes for stability in recent months, came to a grinding halt on Monday, 22 August, with the rejection of the House of Representatives. Parliament — which was installed in 2014 in Tobruk, a city in the Cyrenaica region, and is an opponent of Tripoli — voted “no confidence” in the Executive Office, which was born after months of negotiations supported by the un following the Political Agreement made in Tunis last December. The rejection was passed with 61 supporting votes, while 39 abstained and one voted in favour of the government, said Abdullah Ablahig, spokesman for the Chamber in Tobruk, noting that the session, which was chaired by Aguila Saleh, reached the quorum of 101 lawmakers. “Back to square one” said Al Sarraj, according to one of the deputies of Tobruk, Abdel-Salam Nassiya: “Now the government needs to be changed to include more representatives from eastern Libya”, he explained. Ihmid Houmah, Vice President of the Chamber, denounced the vote as illicit, stating that the day’s agenda had been changed suddenly. Reports emerged this morning alleging that the Tobruk-based House of Representatives will today discuss the proposal to grant the Tripoli government the last chance to form a new reduced Executive Office, composed of a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 12 ministers. According to certain analysts, the Tobruk Parliament has not been able to express themselves thus far because of General Khalifa Haftar, leading the Libyan National Army which controls the region of Cyrenaica and its political and economic interests.

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