The Libyan parliament has withdrawn its support for the Government of National Unity (GNU) which was formed earlier this year to guide the war-torn country through elections.
According to Abdallah Abaihig, a spokeswoman for the legislature, 89 of the 113 parliamentarians in attendance voted against the Cabinet. He added that the government, led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, will now assume a caretaker role.
However, a parliamentary source told AFP that the vote was illegitimate because only 113 MPs were present at the session in Tobruk, in the east.
A no-confidence vote, according to parliamentary norms, requires a minimum turnout of 120 members of the 200-seat house.
The parliament’s upper body, the High Council of State in Tripoli, was also quick to condemn the Tuesday vote.
“The HCS rejects the no-confidence measure against the national unity government,” a spokesman said, adding that it violated established procedures.
The election law, which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month, has also caused a rift between the two chambers. The High Council, on the other hand, contested the law and created its own version.
The GNU’s capacity to push through the UN-backed plan and hold the presidential election in December has been severely harmed by the latest conflict.
The vote on Tuesday is the latest manifestation of a long-running feud between Libya’s competing factions, which has hampered UN-backed efforts to end the country’s crisis.
Oil-rich Libya has been in upheaval since the overthrow of long-time ruler Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Rival administrations and a slew of militias fought for control, with Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France, and Russia all getting involved.
Rival factions split Libya in two in 2014, with an internationally recognized government in Tripoli and a breakaway administration in the east supported by the House of Representatives.
In March, the unity government was eventually formed. The House of Representatives installed a provisional administration to replace the two rival ministries, with the principal goal of steering the country to the December 24 election.