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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

October 2012

The Libyan Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve the new prime minister’s cabinet, ending months of uncertainty about who was in charge of the government. The top officials of defense and security are now expected to take responsibility for investigating the attack on the American Mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11 of this year, as well as the larger challenge of controlling the militias that have dominated Libya since the death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi more than a year ago.

The approval follows three weeks of confusion after the newly elected Parliament named an earlier prime minister and then removed him in less than a month. It had rejected his attempt to form a cabinet, leaving in place a lame-duck team criticized as weak from the moment it was named last fall.

The political paralysis had left the government in limbo as it scrambled to respond to the Benghazi attacks.

The new prime minister, Ali Zeidan, previously worked as a human rights lawyer in Geneva, where he was a leader of an exiled opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.

Mr. Zeidan was chosen two weeks ago as prime minister with the backing of the Parliament’s two largest blocs of voters — the relatively secular coalition formed around the wartime civilian leader Mahmoud Jibril, and the moderate Islamist coalition formed by Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood. In Parliament, 105 of the 200 members voted to approve Mr. Zeidan’s cabinet; 9 voted against, and the rest were absent or abstained. (Many were traveling for a Muslim holiday or pilgrimage).

An initial attempt to vote on the new government was called off on Tuesday after protesters stormed the Parliament. Some demonstrators complained that certain regions were underrepresented in the proposed cabinet; ultraconservative Islamists charged that a religious affairs minister belonged to a mystical sect, and others accused certain ministers of having ties to the Qaddafi government. But on Wednesday, tight security prevented another protest from derailing the vote, and the lawmakers then exited quickly for their own safety.

Source: The New York Times

Categories: News, Press

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