Congress votes to approve Zeidan Government; six members referred to Integrity Commission

Congress has voted to approve . . .[restrict]the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

Tripoli, 31 October:

The National Congress has voted overwhelmingly to approve the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

The vote took place this evening, Wednesday, with 105 members voting in favour, nine voting against and 18 abstaining. The turnout was relatively low, with just 132 members in attendance in total.

It was initially planned that the vote would take place on Monday, but it was postponed on account of dozens of members being away on Haj, elsewhere abroad and elsewhere in Libya. It is understood that many of these members have still not returned.

Significantly, six of the ministers have been referred by the Integrity Commission to determine whether or not they should remain in post or not. They are: Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Al-Aujali; Justice Minister Salah Bashir Margani; Interior Minister Ashour Suleiman Shuwail; Health Minister Nurideen Abdulhamid Dagman; Culture Minister Habib Mohammed Al-Amin; and Religious Affairs Minister Abdulsalam Mohammed Abusaad.

Yesterday, a meeting of Congress to vote on the government was postponed after a group of protesters stormed the building to protest against the composition of the new government. Amongst the group were a small number of Salafists objecting to the appointment of Abusaad as religious affairs minister on account of his being a Sufi as well as his links with Mahmoud Jibril, whom they describe as ‘secularist’.

The appointment of Aujali as minister of foreign affairs has also proven controversial. The former ambassador to the United States was close to Saif Qaddafi for several years and is correspondingly seen as tainted by association with the former regime.

Referral to the Integrity Commission does not necessarily mean dismissal, however. The commission is charged with vetting public officials for links with the Qaddafi regime and evidence of other crimes such as corruption.

Protests against the proposed government continued today outside the Congress in spite of tightened security, with guards shooting in the air in an effort to control the crowd.

The full government, which includes 32 ministers in addition to Ali Zeidan, is as follows:

Prime Minister – Ali Zeidan

First Deputy Prime Minister – Sadiq Abdulkarim Abdulrahman

Second Deputy Prime Minister – Awad Al-Barasi

Third Deputy Prime Minister – Abdussalam Al-Qadi

Minister of Justice – Salah Bashir Margani

Minister of Foreign Affairs – Ali Al-Aujali

Minister of Interior – Ashour Suleiman Shuwail

Minister of Defence – Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Barghathi

Minister for International Cooperation Mohamed – Imhamid Abdulaziz

Minister of Education – Mohammed Hassan Abubaker

Minister of Higher Education – Abdulasalm Bashir Duabi

Minister of Agriculture – Ahmed Ali Al-Urfi

Minister of Industry – Suleiman Ali Al-Taif Al-Fituri

Minister of Tourism – Ikram Abdulsalam Imam

Minister of Labour and Retraining – Mohamed Fitouri Sualim

Minister of Transport – Mohamed Al-Ayib

Minister of Finance – Alkilani Al-Jazi

Minister for Oil – Abdulbari Al-Arusi

Minister of Electricity – Mohammed Muhairiq

Minister of Economy – Mustafa Mohammed Abufunas

Minister of Religious Affairs – Abdulsalam Mohammed Abusaad

Minister of Culture – Habib Mohammed Al-Amin

Minister of Health – Nurideen Abdulhamid Dagman

Minister of Social Affairs – Kamila Khamis Al-Mazini

Minister of Housing – Ali Hussein Al-Sharif

Minister of Planning – Mahdi Ataher Genia

Minister of Martyrs and Missing – Sami Mustafa Al-Saadi

Minister of Communications – Osama Abdurauf Siala

Minister of Sports and Youth – Abdulsalam Abdullah Guaila

Minister of Local Government – Abubaker Al-Hadi Mohammed

Minister of Water Resources – Alhadi Suleiman Hinshir

Minister for GNC affairs – Muaz Fathi Al-Kujah (special ministry)

Minister for the Injured – Ramadan Ali Mansour Zarmuh (special ministry) [/restrict]

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