Libya’s new parliament opens, militia factions battle on

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Baira, interim head of parliament, speaks during the first session held by Libya's newly elected House of Representatives in Tobruk

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El Yaakoubi TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s newly elected parliament held its first formal session on Monday as rival armed factions continued to battle for dominance of a country that was a dictatorship for decades before Muammar Gaddafi’s fall three years ago. Lawmakers gathered in a heavily guarded hotel in the eastern city of Tobruk after three weeks of fighting in Tripoli and in Benghazi had made the capital and the country’s second city unsafe for the parliament session. Elected in June, the House of Representatives replaces the General National Congress (GNC) where, some analysts say, Islamist factions had more influence than in the new one. “A swift transition from the GNC to the new parliament is vital because the country is in turmoil,” Azzedine al-Awami, the former deputy GNC chief, said at start of the first session.


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