Libya's re-appointed PM to form crisis-management cabinet

Lobna Monieb , Tuesday 9 Sep 2014

New cabinet should have 18 ministers or less - instead of a comprehensive quotas cabinet - as Libya's parliament urges for crisis-management

Libya's prime minister designate Abdallah al-Thinni speaks during a news conference in Tripoli March 12, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Libya's parliament has decided to re-designate Abdullah Al-Thinni as prime minister, after convening in the city of Tobruk due to turbulence in the capital Tripoli.

The decision comes after Al-Thinni sent his cabinet's resignation to the newly elected Libyan House of Representatives to "give way to a new government to take over," as mentioned in the statement of resignation on 28 August.

A source close to Al-Thinni, who flew to the United Arab Emirates Monday for talks on the cabinet formation, said that a number of ministers will remain in the new government, including Justice Minister Salah Al-Marghani, Transportation Minister Mohammed Abdel-Qader, Culture and Civil Society Minister Al-Habib Al-Amin, Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, and Interior Minister Saleh Mazeq Al-Bar'asi.

There is speculation that Al-Thinni will keep the post of defence minister for himself.

The source mentioned that Fawzi Abdel-Aal – former interior minister and Libya's current ambassador to Bahrain – refused a post in the new cabinet on the grounds that "it's not going to last for long."

The new cabinet is anticipated to be comprised of 18 ministers or less, as the parliament demands a technocratic, crisis-management cabinet, an approach that is supported by regional powers like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – but goes against the demands of the US and Europe, who call for a comprehensive quotas cabinet.

The ministries that will witness changes, according to the source, are those of finance and health.

Al-Thinni is proposing to abolish the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, said the source.

"Oil and gas resources will be administrated by the National Oil Corporation, keeping Mostafa Sonallah as its head," the source added.
Al-Thinni will propose his cabinet's formation Sunday in Tobruk.

The cabinet will have to resign when the 60-member committee finishes drafting the country's constitution. When the new constitution is approved, new parliamentarian elections will take place and a new government will be formed.

Ali Al-Tarhouni, chairman of the 60-member committee, told Al-Hayat newspaper earlier this month that the new constitution is to be finished by December 2014.

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