Middle East

Libya PM submits gov't line-up for congress approval

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Beth Jones (L) shares a laugh with Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur during a meeting in Tripoli on October 2, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA)

TRIPOLI: Libyan Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur presented his nominations for his government line-up on Wednesday to the ruling national congress for its approval.

Abushagur, in a televised session, nominated Mabrouk Issa Abu Harroura as the North African country's new oil minister. He said the post of foreign minister had yet to be filled, and he would act as foreign minister for now.

The congress will vote on the cabinet list name by name on Thursday and the appointees could still change.

Many of the names submitted are unknown. Harroura is said to have previously worked for Libya's Zueitina Oil Company.

Abushagur picked three deputy prime ministers - one from the western town of Zintan, one from the south and the third from the east, in a move which could seen to placate regional rivalries.

Abushagur nominated Omar al-Aswad as interior minister while Abdelsalam Jadallah al-Obeidi was named as defence minister. From Benghazi, a former military officer, Obeidi defected early in last year's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.

Abushagur named Abdallah Shamia, a former prisoner under Gaddafi when he was part of the then underground Muslim Brotherhood movement in Libya, as finance minister. Shamia has taught economics at Benghazi university.

Faisal al-Krekshi, who was secretary general of the National Forces Alliance (NFA), was nominated as health minister.

The NFA, led by wartime rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, has 39 out of the 80 party seats in the 200-member assembly. The remaining 120 seats are in the hands of independents.

Ibrahim al-Gharyani, who leads the NFA in congress, told Reuters the coalition had no candidates in Abushagur's line-up.

Abushagur has kept several ministers from the interim administration in which he was deputy prime minister, including Education Minister Suleiman al-Sahli.





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