March 31, 2015 / 3:23 PM / 3 years ago

Libya's rival parliament sacks PM amid internal divisions: spokesman

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya’s squabbling rival parliament sacked its prime minister on Tuesday in a move that the assembly’s spokesman said might help break a stalemate in negotiations with the United Nations to form a unity government.

As well as the divisions that have led to the establishment of two governments battling to control power and oil wealth four years after veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted, each of the factions is also riven by internal wrangling.

Several ministers threatened to resign unless Omar al-Hassi was removed, spokesman Omar Humaidan told reporters.

“The meeting of the GNC today decided to oust Omar al-Hassi due to the government’s lack of performance and complaints made by several ministers of the national salvation government,” Humaidan, the spokesman of the General National Congress that established itself in the capital Tripoli said.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), is mediating at peace talks to form a unity government with the recognized administration based in the east of the country that could end the crisis.

Humaidan said Hassi’s dismissal could be a step towards an agreement with the Tobruk-based parliament.

“The government of national salvation is still ruling and the dismissal of Hassi might be the first step of a national unity government in the U.N. talks,” Humaidan said, without giving details of how the move might help.

Hassi’s deputy Khalifa Mohamed Ghwail will lead the rival government until a new leader is named within a month, another GNC member Abdulqader Al-Hawaili told Reuters.

In a boost to Libya’s beleaguered oil industry, a National Oil Company official said on Tuesday the two biggest oil ports, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, will be able to open once security checks are made after forces backing the rival government left the area after months of fighting.

Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Alison Williams

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