The Libyan parliament's passing of a no-confidence vote in the war-scarred country's unity government will not contribute to Libya’s stability nor to its transitional process, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
In a written statement, the ministry underlined that it is vital that the unity government stays at its post until the elections in order for there to be a well-managed transition period.
“All parties in Libya must leave aside their personal interest struggles as well as unproductive discussions on legitimacy at this critical point and focus on Libya’s priorities with a sense of responsibility,” it said.
The ministry further vowed to continue to support the legitimate Libyan administration as well as the Libyan people while continuing to defend the U.N.-facilitated political process.
Later in the day, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a phone call with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. In the call, Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey's support for the unity government.
Eighty-nine of the 113 lawmakers who attended the lower house session in the eastern city of Tobruk voted to withdraw confidence from the Tripoli-based administration of interim Prime Minister Dbeibah on Tuesday.
But an upper house based in the capital rejected the vote, saying it violated established procedures, laying bare once more the extent of divisions between the country's east and west.
The latest escalation came amid tensions between the House of Representatives and Dbeibah's government, which took office earlier this year with a mandate to guide the North African country to elections on December 24. Those polls look increasingly unlikely to happen amid the escalating political wrangling, casting doubt on a United Nations-led process aimed at ending a decade of violence since the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
But Dbeibah insisted Tuesday that elections must take place.
"I reaffirm our determination to continue what we have begun," he said in the western city of Zawiya.
"I say no to war, yes to elections for a united Libya."
Tuesday's lower house vote, in a closed session overseen by speaker Aguila Saleh, came less than two weeks after he outraged opponents by ratifying an electoral law seen as bypassing due process and favoring eastern-based putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar had waged a year-long assault on Tripoli, leaving thousands dead, before reaching a formal cease-fire with his western opponents in October last year.
While the ensuing U.N.-led peace process has led to a period of calm, wrangling over electoral laws and the presence of foreign forces has complicated moves towards more permanent peace.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed concern at Tuesday's developments and urged the parliament "and all relevant institutions and political actors to remain focused on completing the preparation of the constitutional and legislative framework" for the December 24 vote.
The transitional administration "remains the legitimate government up until it is replaced by another government through a regular process, following the elections," UNSMIL added.
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