Deadline for new Libya unity govt extended

Deadline for new Libya unity govt extended

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Fayez Al-Sarraj — Courtesy image

TRIPOLI — Libya’s internationally recognized parliament has extended to Sunday a deadline for the formation of a new national unity government aimed at ending years of chaos in the North African country.

Lawmakers from the parliament, currently exiled in eastern Libya, on Tuesday voted to give a UN-backed Presidential Council “until Sunday to form a national unity government”, it said on its website.

The council — made up of nine members from Libya’s rival factions and headed by businessman Fayez Al-Sarraj — was supposed to present a new lineup for the power-sharing authority on Wednesday.

Sarraj, who is to become prime minister under a UN-brokered deal signed by a minority of lawmakers from the country’s two rival parliaments in December, asked for a deadline extension on Monday.

UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler on Wednesday tweeted that presidential council members gathered in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat were meeting day and night to work on a new Cabinet lineup.

“Never seen the presidential council so committed in day/night (meetings) to present a good list of the new unity (government),” he wrote.

Last month the recognized parliament, which needs to approve any unity government before it begins its formal work, rejected an initial lineup of 32 ministers and asked for it to be trimmed. — AFP

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