Libya's National Congress has rejected the Cabinet line-up put forward by new Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur, media reports citing unnamed Parliament officials said on Thursday.
The lawmakers, however, gave Abu Shagur time until October 7 to table a new list for parliamentary approval. Meanwhile, unconfirmed media reports suggested that Abu Shagur himself withdrew his initial nominations for ministerial posts in order to submit a new Cabinet line-up.
Incidentally, Abu Shagur had tabled his initial Cabinet line-up in the House for approval on Wednesday. The panel reportedly excluded members of the biggest party in the Congress, the liberal National Forces Alliance (NFA).
Subsequently, about 150 protesters stormed the Parliament building earlier on Thursday demanding withdrawal of the cabinet line-up, which they said lacked qualified members and was not representative of Libya's important regions.
The North African nation held its first free elections in decades in July, following the toppling of Col. Moammar Qadhafi's autocratic regime last year. Qadhafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years with an iron fist, was captured and subsequently shot dead on October 20, 2011 by revolutionary fighters on the outskirts of his hometown Sirte.
In the July elections, the NFA of transition Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril secured 39 of the 80 seats set aside for political parties in the 200-member Constitutional Assembly, pushing Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party to a distant second place.
Abu Shagur was elected last month as the country's new Prime Minister by the elected lawmakers. He defeated Mahmoud Jibril by a narrow margin in a run-off vote after dropping to a distant second place in the first round.
Despite these political developments, violent clashes still break out between rival militias, mostly in capital Tripoli. Their continued presence in Libya even after the civil war has raised concerns about the possible outbreak of further violence in the oil-rich North African nation.
Incidentally, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi last month as an aftermath of an American film that ridiculed Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
Libyan authorities have since arrested several people over the envoy's death and pledged to disband all illegal militias operating in the country. Further, a large number of civilian protesters stormed and destroyed the Benghazi headquarters of the Ansar al-Sharia group believed to have been responsible for the Consulate attack that killed Stevens.
by RTT Staff Writer
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