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Libya parliament elects Oqailah Eissa as speaker

 TOBRUK, Libya (AA) –  Eissa, a lawmaker from Al-Qubbah town, won the post after winning 77 votes while Beirah obtained 74 votes, a panel tasked with holding the vote said in a statement. Seven other votes were deemed invalid. In the first round, Beirah came first with 54 votes followed by Eissa who got 46 votes as the new parliament held its first session on Monday in the eastern city of Tobruk. As many as 158 lawmakers attended the session, out of 188 members who managed to win the parliamentary elections held on June 25. Some 12 parliamentary seats remain vacant because of Libya's deteriorating security conditions. Upon his election, Eissa ordered the postponement of the election of his two deputies and a rapporteur for the parliament to Tuesday. The session was attended and addressed by representatives of the U.N., Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), among others. The new parliament assumes legislative authority from the General National Congress whose mandate ended months ago. Libya has been plagued by heavy fighting between a loosely organized army and militias that clung to their weapons following a bloody uprising that ended the autocracy of long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The capital Tripoli has been the scene of fierce clashes between warring militias over control of several vital facilities in the city. Benghazi, the country's second largest city, has also turned into a battlefield between troops loyal to reneged general Khalifa Haftar and Islamist Ansar Al-Sharia militia.

By Moataz al-Majbari

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