This picture taken on February 20, 2016 shows a general view of a meeting of Libyan prime minister-designate, Fayez al-Sarraj, to present a program of his new national unity government, before the parliament ahead of a confidence vote, in the city of Tobruk. (AFP photo)
The UN-backed government in Libya faces a major blow as lawmakers in the internationally-recognized parliament reject the cabinet.
A spokesman for the Libyan parliament said Monday that 101 deputies had attended the parliament, enough to reach quorum for the vote.
Abdullah Ablahig added that 61 lawmakers had voted against the Government of National Accord (GNA), 39 abstained and one voted to support it.
The North African country has been split between rival governments and parliaments.
Lawmaker Abdel-Salam Nassiya said the government should now change to include more people from Tobruk, the city where the parliament is based.
Libya’s unity government was the result of months of efforts by the United Nations to reconcile warring sides of the conflict in Libya. The two sides, the internationally-recognized government based in Tobruk in east and a militant-backed authority in the capital Tripoli in west, reached a peace deal and an agreement on setting up the unity government last year.
Fayez Serraj, who was appointed in December 2015 by the UN to head the unity government, has been waiting for a crucial vote of confidence from the Tobruk-based parliament.
A pro-government lawmaker said that the opponents of the government had “cheated” the public because the parliament was not planned to vote on the government during the Monday session.
Galal Saleh said the pro-government bloc had been invited to meet with opponents for a consultation, not a vote. 
Libya has been scene of increasing violence since 2011, when long-time dictator Muammar Gadhafi was toppled from power. His ouster created a huge power vacuum in Libya and gave leeway to numerous militant groups.

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