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Libyan lawmakers, convening far from warring militias, elect judge as new parliament speaker

  • Libya UK Ship-1.jpg

    Photo issued by Britain's Ministry of Defence, showing HMS Enterprise as it evacuates Britons from Tripoli, Libya, Sunday Aug. 3, 2014. Around 100 Britons have fled from Libya and are on their way to sanctuary in Malta amid increasing violence in the north African state. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirmed an evacuation mission involving the Royal Navy survey ship HMS Enterprise had left its mooring near the Libyan capital of Tripoli and was on its way to safety. (AP Photo / MoD, Crown Copyright) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Libya-2.jpg

    In this image made from AP video on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, plumes of smoke and debris rise from a base of Islamic militias after a MiG fighter jet's strike in Benghazi, Libya. MiG fighter jets, reportedly under the control of renegade general, Khalifa Hifter, struck in retaliation the bases of Islamic militias in Benghazi on Friday, as a coalition of Islamic militias over the past week captured a number of army bases in Benghazi, driving out troops and police and seizing large weapon stores. (AP Photo/AP video) (The Associated Press)

Libyan lawmakers, gathered far from the country's chaos and warring militias, have elected a judge as the new parliament speaker.

Ageila Saleh Eissa narrowly defeated his rival for the post, Abu-Bakr Baeira, in a 77-74 vote late Monday night from among 158 lawmakers who convened the parliament session in the city of Tobruk.

Weeks of fighting in the capital, Tripoli, and the second-largest city, Benghazi, have killed more than 230 people and forced most foreigners and diplomats to leave Libya.

Eissa is the country's third parliament speaker since the downfall and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the 2011 uprising and civil war.

He held several judicial posts in the east under Gadhafi but his political affiliation is unknown. Opponents, however, accuse him of being a Gadhafi loyalist.