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Abdullah al-Thinni asked to form new Libyan government

Posted on Sep 01 2014 | IANS

Tripoli, Sep 1 : Libya's newly-elected parliament Monday asked Abdullah al-Thinni to form a new government, a lawmaker said.

In its meeting held in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, the secularist-dominated House of Representatives appointed al-Thinni as the new prime minister, Xinhua reported citing the unnamed lawmaker.

Al-Thinni had been approved by the ex-parliament as the prime minister of the North African country since March. He and his government resigned last week to pave the way for fresh prime ministerial elections in the new parliament.

His position has been challenged by a rival parliament, the Islamist-dominated General National Congress (GNC), which refuses to recognise the House of Representatives.

The oil-rich country has witnessed frayed political process, which is now juggling two rival parliaments and governments. Though the term of the GNC ended with the national elections in June, it reconvened last Monday in Libya's capital Tripoli and asked the Islamist-backed Omar al-Hasi to be prime minister.

Since July 13, Tripoli has endured bloody clashes between armed Islamist groups and pro-secular militias. The conflict has spread to other major cities like Benghazi, Gharyan and Zawiya.

Islamist fighters controlled Tripoli by the end of last month, and they have seized nearly 80 percent of Benghazi, Libya's second largest city.

Libya has seen a drastic escalation of violence since the 2011 turmoil, which toppled the country's former top leader Muammar Gaddafi. The political transition that followed has since been mired in endless fights between Islamist and secular factions.

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