by Dominique Soguel
by Dominique Soguel
TRIPOLI, Oct 7, 2012 (AFP)
Libya’s Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur was expected on Sunday to name a government, an uphill task of balancing regional and political interests while also tackling multiple security issues.
The embattled premier was granted 72 hours to build consensus and deliver an amended cabinet list after the General National Congress (GNC) rejected his first proposed line-up late on Thursday.
“The assembly is expected to vote on the new government in the afternoon,” an official told AFP.
Analysts said Abu Shagur faces an uphill task.
“The first challenge is security,” said Jason Pack, a Libyan history researcher at Cambridge University and president of online repository libya-analysis.com
“The central government does not yet have sufficient military capacity to provide adequate security for its own parliamentary offices, let alone for the ,complex process of disarming and demobilising the hundreds of militias.”
More than 100 protesters stormed the national assembly’s headquarters on Thursday, demanding greater representation for the western town of Zawiyah and ,reportedly calling for Abu Shagur’s resignation.
Pack said the protests show a tendency “to only trust representatives who come from their local area, leading to demands for regional quotas and the ,allotment of cabinet positions based on region of origin rather than technical competence.”
Carlo Binda, director of the US-based National Democratic Institute’s Libya branch, said Abu Shagur to his credit had “shown sensitivity and political sophistication by appointing deputies and ministers from each of the regions.”
Residents of the east and south complain they were marginalised for 42 years under Moamer Kadhafi before the 2011 conflict that toppled his regime and killed him.
Binda downplayed the Zawiyah protest’s significance, saying it reflected one “local grievance,” and stressed that regional and tribal politics were not the main reason the GNC rejected his proposed cabinet.
“It was rejected for a collection of reasons… You can’t possibly satisfy each and every interest when trying to compose a cabinet. Then you would have a cabinet of six million people,” Binda said.
Pack agreed: “Anyone in Abu Shagur’s position would be hard-pressed to come up with a list that could please everybody.”
When they finally met, GNC representatives lambasted Abu Shagur’s ministerial choices, calling them either incompetent, unknown, or remnants from the previous transitional government.
“The interior ministry — the most important portfolio at a time when the demand from the streets is security — went to a complete unknown,” noted Miftah Buzeid, analyst and editor of a Benghazi-based newspaper.
First line-up sparked outrage