By Hadeel Al Shalchi
TRIPOLI Oct 7 Libya's national congress
dismissed the newly elected prime minister on Sunday in a vote
of no confidence which underscored the difficulties of forming a
government which can unite the country's different factions and
The vote came minutes after prime minister Mustafa Abushagur
named 10 new ministers - his second and ultimately unsuccessful
attempt to form a government - after he was forced to withdraw
his previous cabinet in the face of protests.
The national congress will now need to choose a new prime
minister who will have to try again to form a viable government
as Libya, a major oil and gas exporter, seeks to emerge from the
civil war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Abushagur was elected by the assembly on Sept 12 and last
week announced a government which included 29 ministries.
He withdrew the list after protests from the national
congress and the public saying it was not representative of the
country. Between 100 and 150 demonstrators from the western town
of Zawiyah stormed the national congress on Thursday.
The original list had many unknown figures, and was believed
to include several members of the political arm of the Muslim
Brotherhood. But there were no candidates from the National
Forces Alliance, Libya's leading liberal coalition.
After withdrawing his initial choice, Abushagur was then
given 72 hours to name a new government acceptable to the
national congress or face a vote of no confidence.
He said he had come under pressure by political parties
demanding roles in certain ministries.
"The first list was not successful, it had some mistakes,
and I was prepared to fix it," he told the national congress on
Sunday. "Some political entities that demanded certain positions
began to discuss a vote of no-confidence. I would not bow down
to the pressure of political entities."
Libya desperately needs a viable government so that it can
focus on reconstruction and on healing regional divisions opened
up by the war which toppled Gaddafi.
Hamuda Syala, spokesman for the National Forces Alliance led
by wartime rebel prime minister Mohammed Jibril, said the
coalition had been let down by Abushagur's original list of
But he said the National Forces Alliance was in negotiations
with the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Justice and
Development Party, to find "a suitable leader who will be
representative of Libya's choice".
Abushagur appeared on state television late at night to
offer his thanks to those who helped him.
"I call on the revolutionaries to take care of this country
and not let anyone take advantage of it," he said. "I am ready
to be a servant to this country and it will be a big honour to
keep serving it."