New Libya Prime Minister Presents Coalition Government To Congress

Libya's new prime minister on Tuesday presented a coalition cabinet drawn from liberal and Islamist parties to the national congress, which had rejected his predecessor's line-up.
Ali Zeidan has said his transitional government, if approved by congress, will focus on restoring security in the oil-producing North African country where many militias have yet to disarm since last year's overthrow of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Zeidan's transitional government would replace an interim administration appointed in November after Gaddafi's death.

Some ministers come from the liberal National Forces Alliance or the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Justice and Construction Party, the two biggest parties in the 200-member congress. Others are independents.

Aware of Libya's sharp regional tensions, Zeidan said he had tried to strike a geographic balance among his 27 ministers.

"No region has been favoured over any other," he told congress in a televised session. "We don't want to repeat mistakes or provoke the street."

Congress elected Zeidan prime minister this month after his predecessor, Mustafa Abushagur, lost a confidence vote on his choice of ministers, criticised inside and outside the assembly.

A former career diplomat who defected in the 1980s to become an outspoken Gaddafi critic, Zeidan will govern the country while the congress, elected in July, passes laws and helps draft a new constitution to be put to a national referendum next year.
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