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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

Dr Zidan Cabinet Approved, Despite Protests

Thursday 1st November 2012

A few weeks after rejecting his predecessor’s cabinet line-up, Libya’s General National Congress, GNC, Wednesday gave its approval to a cabinet presented by Prime Minister Ali Zidan, even though moments after the vote, protesters questioned the suitability of several nominations, who, they believe, were associates to the former Gaddafi regime.

Zidan’s government was approved by 105 members of the 132 present out of the 200 making up the congress. Nine of those present voted against, while 18 abstained. Some thought it disappointing that only two thirds of the whole assembly turned up to give the go-ahead to a government drawn from liberal and Islamist parties.

For the second day running, protests again erupted around the assembly building opposing the choice of some of the ministers in a 30-member line-up.

But as it turned out, Dr Zidan can now form his government kick start his plans for the building of a democratic country after the July general elections. The new PM needed approval in order to enter office

This is the second time that the approval was needed to a cabinet. Dr Zidan’s predecessor, Mustafa Abushagur, was dismissed on October 7 after twice failing to present a suitable cabinet. Dr Zidan was elected in his stead on October 14. The new members will prioritise security as militias still need disarming to help restore order.

GNC spokesman Omar Hmaidan told a news conference: “There are some objections about some of the ministries but we don’t want to obstruct the government taking up its job,”

Asked which ministries had been called into question, he said: “I think interior, religious affairs and also oil, local government and foreign affairs.” He added that they had delayed the vote on Tuesday because they did not want to be put under pressure.

Libya’s official news agency, LANA said: “The General National Congress gives its confidence to the government of Ali Zidan.”

Outside of the NGC building more than a dozen security vehicles were on standby, while security forces fired in the air as they struggled to prevent a repetition of chaotic scenes on Tuesday evening when demonstrators broke into the chamber derailing a first attempt at a vote. This time only about 60 people had gathered outside the main gate.

Dr Zidan, 62, a career diplomat and long-time Gaddafi opponent, won his post thanks in large part to the backing of the liberal National Forces Alliance, the biggest party in the assembly, but he said on Tuesday that he had reached out to all the main political factions in forming his government. He can now assume office replacing Abdulrahim el-Keeb, who has served as prime minister since November last year.

He said that he had decided to put independents in charge of key ministries such as foreign affairs, international cooperation, finance, justice, interior and defence.

No date has yet been set for his formal swearing-in, and assembly members can still put forward objections to individual cabinet nominees.

Source: Tripoli Post

Categories: News, Press

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