World Bulletin / News Desk
The president of Libya's elected parliament has proposed appointing army general Khalifa Haftar as top army commander, parliament's spokesman said on Wednesday.
The decision shows the increasing influence of military figures in the official government and parliament, which has been forced to operate from eastern Libya since an armed group called Libya Dawn seized the capitalTripoli in summer.
He said a decree appointing Haftar would still need to be signed by Saleh, who has quasi-presidential powers.
Haftar, who helped Muammar Gaddafi into power before falling out with him in the 80s and joining the 2011 uprising against his rule, has merged his forces with army troops in the east to fight Islamist groups includingLibya Dawn?.
While the alliance has managed to win back some territory in Benghazi, Haftar has drawn criticism for ordering air strikes on civilian airports and seaports.
Critics say Haftar is sidelining Thinni and sees himself as the Libyan version of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former defence minister who toppled an Islamist president after mass protest to his rule.
But the grey-haired general also enjoys some support among normal people frustrated with hardships in the east, where a violent conflict between the two competing governments has made petrol, electricity and medicines scarce.
Protesters have in the past few weeks in major eastern cities demanded that Thinni quit and hand power to a military council headed by Haftar.
Thinni, whose government has struggled to make an impact working out of hotels in a small eastern city, has sought to address critics from military figures who labelled him as weak.
Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2015, 17:21