New cabinet takes shape in Libya

Mahmoud Jibril to remain prime minister as NTC finalises names for cabinet berths, ending weeks of uncertainty.



    Libya's National Transitional Council has finalised a new cabinet line-up after more than a month of uncertainty, Al Jazeera has learned.

    The new cabinet, decided on Sunday, will keep some prominent figures in place and add new names to key positions, though not all the members have been identified, Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reported from Tripoli.

    Though most of the new ministers' names are not yet known, three key positions have been agreed:

    Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril

    (Note: Jibril is said to also want the office of foreign minister.)

    Defence Minister Salem Joha

    Deputy Prime Minister Ali Tarhouni

    Perhaps most importantly, the NTC managed to agree on a new defence minister, a position that has been the source of much debate. Salem Joha, who comes from Misrata, is said to satisfy Islamist factions.

    Misrata, the third-largest city in Libya, fought off a months-long siege by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

    "This city has become the whole symbol of resistance," our correspondent said.

    Mahmoud Jibril, who leads the NTC's executive committee, will retain his role as the transitional government's "prime minister" in the new cabinet. But Jibril also wants to hold the office of foreign minister, and NTC officials are said to disapprove of his holding both positions.

    "Jibril wants both portfolios, but he's not very popular," Ahelbarra said. "People would like to see a new face representing the diplomacy of Libya."

    Ali Tarhouni, an economist who returned to Libya from the United States during the revolution and became finance and oil minister, will be elevated to deputy prime minister in the new cabinet.

    Other positions, such as the ministers of interior, justice and finance, have yet to be announced.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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