TRIPOLI May 18 Libya's new Prime Minister Ahmed
Maiteeq has formed a government pending parliamentary approval
this week, officials said on Sunday, after the country went
nearly two months without a functioning government.
In the capital heavy gunfire could be heard, according to
residents, although the target of the shots from anti-aircraft
weapons and rocket propelled grenades, was not immediately
Libya, a major oil producer, badly needs a government to
try to impose some authority on a country effectively ruled by
the militias who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011
revolt but now defy the state.
In March, the General National Congress (GNC) assembly
ousted the then prime minister Ali Zeidan over his handling of a
crisis in which rebels in the eastern city of Benghazi attemped
to sell oil bypassing Tripoli.
Zeidan's successor, Abdullah al-Thinni, resigned last month
because of an attack by gunmen on his family.
Maiteeq, a hotel entrepreneur, emerged as the new premier in
a vote earlier this month that was disputed by lawmakers who say
he failed to obtain the necessary quorum.
Maiteeq submitted his cabinet list to the GNC on Sunday, his
media office said, without disclosing names of ministers.
Parliament would hold a confidence vote over the new lineup
within three days, officials said.
As one of his priorities, the new prime minister will have
to deal with violence in Benghazi where irregular army forces
clashed with Islamist militants on Friday, killing more than 70
Since the civil war that ended Gaddafi's one-man rule,
Libya's nascent democracy has struggled, with its parliament
paralysed by rivalries and brigades of heavily armed former
rebels challenging the new authorities.
Libya's parliament is deadlocked between Islamists, tribes
and nationalists. The country's fledgling army faces challenges
from unruly ex-rebels, tribal groups and Islamist militants.
(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing
by Raissa Kasolowsky)