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Libyan House of Representatives to elect a new speaker


Libyan House of Representatives to elect a new speaker

Photo: AFP

House of Representatives (HoR) members from Libya’s opposing factions will meet today to select the speaker of the house for the newly formed Government of National Unity (GNU).

The meeting was called by Ghadames bloc representatives, who represent southern Libya in the GNU. It convenes representatives of the Tobruk-based, self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA) militia and the Tripoli-based, internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Leadership roles in the GNU are divided regionally in accordance with the ceasefire agreement signed by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum. As current House Speaker Ageela Saleh and the Presidency Council head are LNA representatives, the Ghadames bloc has called for Saleh’s resignation and the election of a new speaker from the south.

The LNA is unlikely to agree to this. Saleh believes that he holds a mandate to his position as he and the House of Representatives in Tobruk were democratically elected in 2014, following an unsuccessful coup attempt. But southern Libya is home to many of Libya’s politically powerful tribal leaders. If these leaders feel that the south is being treated unfairly then a disagreement may destabilise the GNU. Should Saleh refuse to resign, conflict between the LNA and GNA could fracture the already-fragile government.

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