By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 3 October:
Prime Minister–elect Mustafa Abushagur’s choices for the next government were publicly unveiled this afternoon, Wednesday. The proposed ministers are:
No foreign minister has yet been appointed. There were reports earlier in the day that the position would go to Ibrahim Dabashi, who, as deputy ambassador to the United Nations, was one of the first Libyan officials to break with the Qaddafi regime last year. The post will be held temporarily by the Prime Minister until an acceptable candidate is found.
The names will be submitted to the National Congress on Thursday morning. It will vote on each name separately, according to a Congress spokesman. If any are rejected by Congress, Abushagur has three more days, until 7 October, to present alternative choices for ratification.
Other than Abushagur, four ministers have stayed on from the previous government. Sulaiman Al-Sahli in education, Naim Al-Ghariani in higher education, Mahmoud Al-Ftaisi in industry and Mohamed Al-Harari in local government.
Among the big surprises were that Awad Barasi, the outgoing Electricity Minister and Justice & Construction party candidate for the prime minister’s job, was not reappointed. He himself was reported as saying that he wanted to stay in post to finish the work he had started and it was thought he would be a leading choice for the Justice & Construction party, with whom the Abushagur government has pledged to work.
It was also expected that the outgoing communications minister Anwar Al-Fitouri would be retained.
Abushagur had delayed his final choice until he could negotiate with Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the National Forces Alliance (NFA), who only returned to Libya in the past couple of days.
Jibril was reported to have demanded as many as nine ministerial posts including that of first deputy prime minister. It has not been able to confirm as yet how many, if any, he was granted.
However, a Congress source told the Libya Herald that when NFA Congressman Ibrahim Al-Ghariani saw the cabinet list, he tore the paper up and threw it at Abushagur in a fit of rage.