Tripoli-based prime minister sacked

01 April 2015

Move could disrupt peace talks

  • Tripoli-based parliament votes to remove prime minister
  • Move could disrupt peace talks
  • Libya has two rival governments competing for control of country

On 31 March, Libya’s Tripoli-based parliament voted to remove its prime minsister, Omar al-Hassi, in a move that could disrupt efforts to agree a peace deal between the country’s two rival governments.

The vote to remove Al-Hassi came amid allegations that he did not give parliament accurate information about government finances.

Libya’s central bank has refused to give either of the country’s two rival governments access to the country’s oil revenues.

It currently operates independently and pays salaries to public sector workers, including fighters on both sides of the conflict.

Al-Hassi became prime minister of the Tripoli-based government in August 2014, weeks after the militia coalition Libya Dawn took control of the city.

Libya’s democratically elected parliament, known as the House of Representatives (HoR), is currently based in Tobruk, a small coastal city in the country’s east.

“The head of the government was dismissed by the parliament in a vote on Tuesday that was backed by the rest of the ministers,” an MP told news agency AFP.

Defence Minister Khalifa al-Ghwel has taken over as interim leader, according to reports.

Speaking in an interview with a UAE-based daily in February 2015, Al-Ghwel signalled he is unlikely to fare better than his predecessor when it comes to finding common ground with the Tobruk-based government.

In the interview, he described the leader of the HoR’s armed forces, Khalifa Haftar, as “like Gaddafi or worse”.

He also said he supported the jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, saying: “None of the groups fighting Haftar are terrorists or extremists; they are revolutionaries.”

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