Tripoli, 31 October:
Following yesterday’s disruption of its deliberations on the proposed government of Ali Zeidan by a small group of protesters, . . .[restrict]the National Congress has decided to vote on the government at a special session to commence at 5pm this afternoon, Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a mixture of revolutionaries and civilians stormed the Congress, forcing a cancellation of the session. Some of them were protesting the lack of youth representation in the government line-up, whilst others complained that Tripoli was not adequately represented.
A small number of Salafists also objected to the inclusion of Abdulsalam Mohammed Abusaad as minister of religious affairs. They accused Abusaad of being a Sufi, a practice within Islam that Salafists consider heretical, and also complained of his links to Mahmoud Jibril, whom they call a ‘secularist’.
Zeidan defended the make-up of his government on Tuesday, insisting that “no region has been favoured over any other. We don’t want to repeat mistakes or provoke the street”.
The government includes several members with links to the two biggest parties in Congress, the National Forces Alliance and the Justice & Construction party, and is also viewed favourably by many independents.
Unlike with the previous line-up presented by Mustafa Abushagur, Zeidan’s government will be voted on collectively, rather than individually, and is widely expected to be approved by Congress. [/restrict]