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Libyan Parliament Heads toward Presidential Elections…Deputies Threaten to Recognize Sarraj Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Head of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj. Reuters

Cairo-As the Libyan government announced it was heading to carry out legislative and presidential elections within a year, a number of deputies in the internationally recognized parliament threatened to convene a session outside its headquarters in Tobruk to give confidence to the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

This move came as the legislative body denounced the UN-brokered deal signed in the Moroccan city of Skhirat on December 17, 2015, which stipulated the creation of the State Council and the GNA.

The legislative body based in Libya’s far-east has asked to conduct the polls before February 2018, a spokesman said, adding that Parliament speaker Aguila Salah has written to Libya’s electoral commission asking for elections.

Besides that, the Parliament accused the GNA of backing the offensive to retake Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra and, on Tuesday, suspended its participation in political dialogue after what it called “the terrorist attack on the oil crescent.”

The Tripoli government denied any involvement and condemned the offensive as a “military escalation.”

However, it said on Wednesday that it had asked oil installation guards who are loyal to the GNA to secure the terminals recaptured from pro-Haftar forces.

“I have the pleasure of announcing we have taken up our functions to secure the oil installations,” Head of the guards Idris Abu Khamada said on Tuesday in Ras Lanuf.

Later in the day, the Tripoli government said that the oil terminals had been abandoned by the Benghazi Defense Brigades and that its forces were moving to occupy the facilities.

“We officially took control of the oil terminals,” Brig. Gen. Mohamed Algosri said.

“Now the forces will be formed and deploy to the oil terminals momentarily.”

The Italian Embassy tweeted its support for the move, describing the deployment as “a step in the right direction” that should end the fighting.