BEIRUT

Middle East

Libya's ousted PM leaves country despite ban

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference in Tripoli March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

TRIPOLI: Libya's ousted prime minister has left the country despite a ban on travel, hours after parliament removed him from office in a no-confidence vote.

Officials in Tripoli on Wednesday could not confirm the departure of Ali Zidan, Libya's first democratically chosen leader who had struggled for 15 months to stem the country's spiraling descent into chaos.

But in nearby Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told state-owned television that Zidan had made a brief stop-over on the Mediterranean island late on Tuesday, before traveling on.

The Western-backed Zidan was ousted in a parliament vote on Tuesday as Libya faces a series of crises, including an escalation over oil ports seized by an eastern militia.

Soon after parliament voted, Libya's general prosecutor banned Zidan from travel pending an investigation into corruption allegations.

 

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