February 25, 2015 / 1:43 PM / in 3 years

Libyan parliament proposes appointing general Haftar as top commander: spokesman

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - The president of Libya’s elected parliament has proposed appointing army general Khalifa Haftar as top military commander, parliament’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

Then-General Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference at a sports club in Abyar, east of Benghazi May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

“Mr Aguila Saleh has proposed to appoint Haftar,” spokesman Farraj Hashem told Reuters. “The House of Representatives supports this.” He said the decree still needed to be signed by Saleh.

Haftar, an army general, has emerged as strongman in eastern Libya, where the internationally recognised prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, is based since losing control of the capital to a rival group in the summer.

Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Williams

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