Libya PM presents new cabinet to rival Tripoli govt

Libya`s internationally recognised premier presented Wednesday a new cabinet to parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk, in opposition to a Tripoli government, as the strife-torn country`s political divisions deepened.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 17, 2014, 23:22 PM IST

Benghazi: Libya`s internationally recognised premier presented Wednesday a new cabinet to parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk, in opposition to a Tripoli government, as the strife-torn country`s political divisions deepened.

The administration of Abdullah al-Thani and parliament, elected in June, both moved to Tobruk in August for security reasons when Islamist-backed militias captured most of the capital Tripoli and second city Benghazi.

Since then, the dissolved interim parliament, or General National Congress (GNC), has been reinstated in Tripoli and a rival government named under Omar al-Hassi.

Libya has been rocked by political instability since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Thani`s proposed government team of 18 members will now be reviewed by parliament, said speaker Fradj Abu Hashem.

"We began discussing the list of ministers that was presented," Abu Hashem said, without giving any names.

One deputy, speaking anonymously, said Thani has proposed keeping the key defence portfolio while giving the interior portfolio, another crucial job, to former independent minister Ashur Shwayel.

He said a woman, Farid al-Allagui, was named as foreign minister, and Abdelhafidh Ghoga, a former member of the post-revolution National Transitional Council, as justice minister.

The announcement came as Islamist fighters launched another offensive Wednesday on the airport in Benghazi, the latest in near-daily violence to rock the North African nation since Kadhafi`s ouster.

In March, the Islamist-dominated GNC ousted premier Ali Zeidan in a no-confidence vote and temporarily replaced him with Thani until a permanent successor could be found.

But political wrangling prevented that, and Thani carried on in the job on a caretaker basis.

Thani submitted his resignation in August, but parliament asked him earlier this month to form a new government.