Libya’s Parliament withdraws confidence in unity government, stirring rejection reactions

The Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) withdrew in a Tuesday session in Tobruk confidence in the Government of National Unity (GNU), which is headed by Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, after a closed voting session.

The spokesman for the HoR, Abdullah Blehiq, said the withdrawal vote was passed by majority of 89 members out of 113 attending the session, a revelation that proved the vote to be illegal, according to both MPs and politicians.

MPs Reject HoR Decision

A petition signed by 38 members of the HoR rejected the decision to withdraw confidence in the unity government, while other members said they had been tricked after Monday session was suspended to form committees to hold the government accountable for its performance. They added that they were surprised to see voting taking place on Tuesday to withdraw confidence in the government.

Other members rejected the decision of the HoR, describing it as “forgery” and accrued the HoR Presidency – Speaker Aqila Saleh – of hindering the holding of elections by such a move.

Legal Challenge

Some members of the HoR confirmed that the withdrawal of confidence is invalid because the HoR internal laws say such a step needs three combined conditions: First, a request made by 50 HoR members; Second, a consensus on withdrawal of confidence between the HoR and High Council of State; and third, a vote in favor of the withdrawal by 120 members. The HoR members, who refused the withdrawal, said all of the three conditions didn’t happen in Tuesday session.

High Council of State Reacts

The Libyan High Council of State (HCS) also rejected the withdrawal of confidence in the Government of National Unity by the HoR, as its spokesman Mohammed bin Nasser said such a decision by the HoR is invalid and violates the constitutional declaration as well as political agreement.

Libyan Political Dialogue Forum Challenges Decision

The member of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) and former HCS’s Head, Abdelrahman Al-Sweihli, said on Twitter that the HoR members’ withdrawal of confidence in the government was “a leap in the air” and a violation of the political agreement.

Al-Sweihli said the decision was a cheap attempt to settle political scores by the list of (Aqila Saleh and Fathi Bashagha) which lost to (Menfi and Dbeibah) list in the LPDF elections in Geneva last February.

“They want to plunge Libya into chaos and instability and impede the holding of 24 December elections.” Al-Sweihli said.

Another LPDF member, Abdelrazzak Al-Erradi, said the HoR move aimed to hinder the holding of elections, saying the decision is a violation of the constitutional declaration, political agreement and the LPDF roadmap.

UN Support Mission Backs GNU

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it had received, with concerns, reports that the HoR passed a no-confidence motion against the GNU, confirming that the current GNU remains the legitimate government up until it is replaced by another government through a regular process, following the elections.

UNSMIL said the GNU’s focus remains bringing the country towards the parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December 2021 and providing the necessary services to the people.


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