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Libya to vote next month amid rising unrest

The impact of a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) marks the wall of a building on the road leading to the airport in Tripoli on May 19, 2014, following attacks by armed groups the previous day/AFP

The impact of a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) marks the wall of a building on the road leading to the airport in Tripoli on May 19, 2014, following attacks by armed groups the previous day/AFP

TRIPOLI, May 21- Libya will hold elections next month to replace its disputed interim parliament, as authorities strive to contain a power struggle with armed ex rebels and prevent a descent into civil war.

Successive governments have complained that the General National Council’s (GNC) claim to both executive power and legislative authority has tied their hands in bringing to heel former rebel militias blamed for growing unrest in the North African country since the 2011 uprising that killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The electoral commission said polls for the new parliament would be held on June 25, in an announcement a day after the government urged the GNC to go into recess.

The government said this could help spare Libya from descending into civil war after renegade general Khalifa Haftar, whom authorities branded an “outlaw”, launched an assault Friday on Islamists in Benghazi.

The Islamist dominated interim parliament sparked widespread public outrage earlier this year when it extended its own mandate until December.

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