Libya’s Supreme Court has announced the dissolution of the UN-backed elected parliament, which has taken refuge in the eastern city of Tobruk, while another parliament vying for legitimacy is stationed in the capital, Tripoli.
“The Constitutional Circuit in the Supreme Court has ruled on Thursday to accept the appeal concerning the illegality” of developments leading to the elections, the news agency LANA reported.
The decision, announced on Thursday, came in light of a request by an MP to rule on the constitutionality of the June 25 vote that led to the creation of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni’s government.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdul-Wahed, reporting from Tripoli, said the court ruling renders al-Thinni’s government “unconstitutional”.
He also reported that supporters of the Tripoli-based legislature have gathered in the capital to celebrate the court decision.
The court’s decision, which sets the stage for more political chaos in the divided country, casts shadows on the future of al-Thinni’s government that was fighting armed groups, as it sought to restore law and order in the North African oil-rich country.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Jason Palk, an expert on Libya, said that despite the political impasse, the court decision could still pave the way for international mediators to step up negotiations with the rival governments.
Al-Thinni and his government, isolated in the far eastern city of Tobruk near the Egyptian borders, has little control over Libya’s three main cities.
The Tobruk-based legislature called an emergency meeting to review the court ruling.
“Lawmakers will not recognise a verdict decided under the gun,” Tobruk-based parliamentarian Issam al-Jehani wrote on Facebook.
Rival armed rebels have formed two loosely affiliated blocs – one backing the government in Tobruk and seen as more moderate. The other backing the leaders in Tripoli and seen as more religiously conservative.
Recent violence between warring sides have claimed hundreds of lives in the past few weeks.
Libya has been gripped by unrest since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, as the weak central authorities have struggled to rein in regional, ideological and other armed groups who control much of the country. Al Jazeera