Tripoli (AFP) – Libya’s new Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, on Tuesday presented his 30-member cabinet to the national assembly for approval in the hope of forming a coalition government after his predecessor failed.
Zeidan told the General National Congress, in a televised address, that he had included the main political parties in his line-up, among them the liberal National Forces Alliance and the Islamist Justice and Construction Party, while some top posts were given to independents.
“I decided to put independents in charge of the ministries of foreign affairs, international cooperation, finance, justice, interior and defence,” Zeidan said.
The cabinet includes 27 ministers and three deputy prime ministers, he said.
The assembly must approve the government team before Zeidan, a former diplomat and long-time opponent of ousted dictator Muammar Qaddafi, can assume office.
Zeidan was elected prime minister on 14 October after his predecessor, Mustafa Abu Shagur, was dismissed in a vote of no confidence when his cabinet line-up was rejected by the assembly for not being fully representative of Libya’s numerous factions.
Among Zeidan’s nominations are Ali Aujali, Libya’s ambassador to the United States, as foreign minister, Mohammed Al-Barghathi as defense minister and Ashur Shwayel as interior minister.
Barghathi, a fighter jet pilot who retired in 1994, played a key role in the 2011 revolt that saw strongman Muammar Gaddafi toppled and killed. Shwayel, from the eastern city of Benghazi which was the cradle of the revolution, has a doctorate in law.
The assembly was expected to debate the cabinet proposal later on Tuesday.