[Debate] Libya's Ruling Council Sacks "Government": "angry accusations" exchanged between Council & PM
critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Apr 28 06:30:43 BST 2012
It's a shame that Britain didn't do Libya a favor by firmly holding
onto those "Libyan dissidents" . . . to prevent them from committing
mischief in Libya.
Libya's ruling council to meet on new Cabinet
By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press – 10 hours ago
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Members of Libya's interim ruling council are
trying to work out the makeup of a new government after deciding to
remove the country's Cabinet just five months after it took office,
members said Friday.
Leadership of the National Transitional Council appeared hesitant and
shaken, as it failed to come up with an official announcement over the
ouster of the Cabinet. The council's spokesman, Mohammed al-Hareizi,
denied that the NTC had sacked the government, while other members
said the decision has been made but it is pending an agreement on
replacing the Cabinet.
The back-and-forth indicated the confusion in Libya's decision-making
and power struggles among different groups ahead of the country's
first national elections, a major landmark in the transition after the
fall last year of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. The election is to
choose a 200-member assembly tasked with forming a new government and
write a new constitution.
Both the NTC and el-Keib's government have faced persistent criticism
that they have been ineffective in tackling the multiple troubles
facing the deeply divided nation — and the two sides have traded
accusations over who is to blame.
Two members of the NTC, Fathi Baja and Moussa al-Kouni, told The
Associated Press on Thursday that the council had voted to remove the
government during a meeting the day before. But, they said, the
council did not intend to make the decision public until a replacement
was decided. Baja said 56 of the council's 72 members attended and
most of them supported the no-confidence motion.
"There is an agreement inside the council to oust el-Keib government," he said.
NTC spokesman al-Hareizi described the report as "baseless" in a brief
statement carried on the official news agency LANA.
Al-Amin Belhaj, another NTC member and a leading member of the Muslim
Brotherhood, said the council will meet on Sunday to finalize the
extent of the government reshuffle, suggesting that part of the
Cabinet could be retained. He said a formal vote had not been held
Wednesday. Another member Ahmed al-Abbar described the upcoming
meeting on Sunday as "decisive."
A witness who attended Wednesday's meeting told AP that members made a
show of hands that reflected a strong majority calling for removing
the government. But there were sharp divisions over who would replace
el-Keib, said the witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitivity of the subject.
Islamists in the council support Mustafa Abu-Shakour, el-Keib's
deputy. Others oppose appointing a senior member of a Cabinet they say
has failed, suggesting Labor Minister Mustafa al-Rajbani instead,
according to Baja.
El-Keib assumed his post in November, after an eight-month civil war
that ended with the capture and killing of Gadhafi in October.
Lately, el-Keib and the NTC exchanged angry accusations over who was
responsible for the failure to integrate revolutionary fighters into
government forces, form a national army and disarm militias, as well
as the alleged waste of billions of dollars in a program intended to
treat wounded fighters abroad.
Baja said the decision to dismiss the Cabinet came after a stormy
meeting between el-Keib and six of his ministers with top NTC members
"El-Keib was very angry, and he wouldn't listen to our complaints," Baja said.
On state TV, el-Keib harshly criticized the NTC on Wednesday, accusing
the council's members of hindering his government's work and delaying
Speaking to the AP, a former official in el-Keib's government accused
the NTC of trying to sway government decisions to serve personal
interests. For instance, he said, members within the NTC wanted to
appoint a group of ambassadors.
"It is the right of the NTC to monitor the work of the government but
it is not its right to impose things on it," he said, speaking on
condition of anonymity because of sensitivity of the issue. "Changing
the government now only means that they want to find ways to stay in
power and postpone elections."
Gadhafi was ousted in August last year after a monthslong civil war,
and was killed two months later. Still, the country is struggling to
restore security. Armed militias that fought Gadhafi's forces are
refusing to lay down their arms.
On Friday, three explosions outside a courthouse in the eastern city
of Benghazi wounded three people and caused some damage to the
building and its surrounding structures, according to LANA.
Abdel-Basit Haroun, a militia commander, said the attackers wanted to
free the only defendant being held on charges of killing rebel
military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis, who was killed in late July. He
said the defendant remained in custody.
Michael reported from Cairo.
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