Libyan lawmakers have fired their new interim prime minister by voting no confidence in his proposed Cabinet, prolonging the struggle to form a government capable of uniting and stabilizing the war-torn nation.
Libya’s General National Congress rejected Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur’s Cabinet lineup Sunday by a vote of 125-44 with several abstentions, resulting in his removal from office. He had offered lawmakers a lineup of 10 ministers, scaled down from his original list of 29 ministries, proposed last week.
The assembly elected Abushagur to the prime minister’s post last month, giving him a deadline of several weeks to form a government. His scrapped his original Cabinet list last Thursday after more than 100 protesters from the western town of Zawiya stormed into the chamber to complain that their community was not adequately represented.
Speaking Sunday, Abushagur acknowledged that his first Cabinet lineup had mistakes. But he said lawmakers should have worked with him to modify it. Under Libyan law, the General National Congress must elect a new prime minister to form a government in the coming weeks.
Libya’s tribes and regions remain highly polarized following the 2011 civil war that ended the four-decade rule of Moammar Gadhafi. Residents of Zawiya and other regions battered by Gadhafi’s attacks during the conflict have demanded high-level positions in Libya’s post-war government, leading to friction among rival communities.
Libya’s next interim administration also faces the challenge of trying to disarm and demobilize militias that maintain control over parts of the country following their participation in the revolution.