TRIPOLI, Libya – Libya’s parliament on Sunday ousted the country’s newly elected prime minister in a no-confidence vote, the latest blow to hopes that the country’s factions could agree on a government charged with restoring stability after last year’s civil war.
Mustafa Abushagur was Libya’s first elected prime minister after last year’s overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He represented an offshoot of the country’s oldest anti-Gadhafi opposition movement, and was considered a compromise candidate acceptable to both liberals and Islamists.
But his proposed Cabinet was struck down by a legislature representing dozens of divided tribes, towns, and regions across the country, many of whom feel they are owed the spoils of victory over Gadhafi.
He had 25 days from his Sep. 12 appointment by parliament to form a Cabinet and win the legislature’s approval, but that deadline expired Sunday. The General National Congress voted 125 to 44 in favor of removing him as prime minister, with 17 abstaining from voting. He had just put forth 10 names for key ministerial posts Sunday when the no-confidence vote was held.
Until a replacement can be elected by the parliament, management of Libya’s government is in the hands of the legislature. The Congress will have to vote on a new prime minister in the coming weeks. The incoming leader will be responsible for rebuilding Libya’s army and police force and removing major pockets of support for the former regime.
Independent lawmaker Nizar Kawan, who is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, said the group’s party and a liberal coalition led by former rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril had been holding talks about replacing Abushagur with an independent figure who has no political background.