Africa

Libya PM denies impending coup rumors

350688_Libya-Zeidan

Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has denied rumors of an impending coup following a military commander recommended that the country’s interim parliament and the government be suspended.

Zeidan dismissed on Friday Major General Khalifa Haftar’s proposal of the suspension of the General National Congress (GNC) and the formation of a presidential committee to govern until new elections are held.

“I want to assure you that the (National) Congress and government continue their duties and that the situation in the country is under control,” said Zeidan in a televised address.

The call by Haftar was made in a video statement published earlier in the day, in which he added that the armed forces were calling for the country to be “rescued” from its upheaval.

Haftar also said the Lybian premier’s loyalists had taken control of several government facilities.

Zeidan denied Haftar’s claims and said legal proceedings under military law would be taken against the comments made by the general.

Haftar was a leading figure in the 2011 Libyan revolution against the country’s former ruller Muammar Gaddafi.

However, it was not yet clear how much influence he has within the emerging army in Libya where diverse armed groups hold sway.

Since Gaddafi’s fall, Libya has remained in a chaotic state, with its fragile government and armed forces unable to impose their authority on rival political factions and the brigades of former rebels who refuse to disarm.

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