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Libya rival government chief rejects sacking

Lawmakers in the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) voted to sack prime minister Omar al-Hassi

Published: Updated:

The head of Libya's rival government has rejected his sacking by the Tripoli-based parliament, suggesting he retains the support of powerful militia allies.

Libya has had two governments and parliaments since Tripoli was seized in August by the Islamist-backed Libya Dawn militia coalition and the internationally recognised government fled to the country's far east.

On Tuesday lawmakers in the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) voted to sack prime minister Omar al-Hassi, accusing him of failing to tackle corruption.

But Hassi said he was "surprised by the news" of his dismissal, insisting that parliament did not act within the constitution.

"A prime minister cannot be dismissed without questioning," Hassi told a press conference late Tuesday.

"I will accept this decision only if my main partners in this government, the brave revolutionaries, accept it too, and we will preserve our constitutional right to object," he said.

The internal divisions within the Tripoli administration erupted as Libya's two parliaments hold U.N.-sponsored talks in Morocco aimed at establishing a provisional unity government.

Libya has been wracked by political turmoil and violence since the 2011 uprising backed by NATO air strikes that ousted and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi.