Libya PM-designate to present ‘more restrained’ unity government

Friday 22/01/2016
Difficult task and multiple challenges

TUNIS - A revamped Libyan unity government will be proposed within 10 days, an official said Tuesday, after the internationally recognised parliament rejected an initial lineup in a blow to peace efforts.

World powers have urged Libya's warring factions to back the unity government formed last week under a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending political paralysis which has fuelled the rise of jihadists.

But the internationally recognised legislature, based in eastern Libya, on Monday voted against endorsing the proposed 32-minister cabinet headed by businessman Fayez al-Sarraj.

Lawmakers criticised the government as too large and also objected to an article in the UN-brokered accord giving the cabinet the power to approve top security and military positions.

Sarraj will present a new "more restrained" unity government for approval by parliament, said Fathi Ben Issa, adviser to the unity government.

"We will respect the deadline of 10 days," he added.

A militia alliance including Islamists overran Tripoli in August 2014 and set up its own rival parliament in the capital as the recognised lawmakers fled to the east.

The Islamic State jihadist group has exploited the turmoil to expand its influence in the country and launch attacks on key oil facilities.