Five ministers ‘to quit Libya cabinet’

Libyan rebel govt22 January 2014, News Wires – Libya’s Islamist Justice and Construction Party (JCP) has reportedly said its five ministers, including the oil minister, would resign from the government over lack of progress in ending the country’s turmoil.

Two years after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall, the oil-producing North African state has struggled to overcome political unrest and the challenge of heavily-armed ex-rebels and militants who fought in the 2011 revolt against the autocrat but now refuse to disarm.

Resignations by JCP, which repeatedly failed to secure a vote of no-confidence against prime minister Ali Zeidan, will deepen deadlock in the General National Congress (GNC) parliament, which has made little progress in Libya’s transition to democracy, Reuters reported.

“Zeidan failed in his duty to provide security, and to deliver in the electricity and oil sectors,” Nizar Kawan, a leading JCP member, said in a statement. “We had asked for a withdrawal of confidence, but some don’t understand the danger of the stage we are at now.”

The GNC is caught in a stalemate between the JCP, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the leading parliamentary party, National Forces Alliance, a more nationalist coalition.

Since the GNC was elected more than a year ago, infighting has delayed legislation, and Libya still has no constitution.

Controlling former fighters and tribal demands is a major challenge for the fragile central government.

Zeidan said on Sunday that his government plans to remove protesters who have seized eastern ports accounting for 600,000 barrels per day in oil exports within the next few days.

The prime minister Prime did not say whether force would be used, but reportedly said to the country’s al-Ahrar news channel that he did not want the country to plunge into civil war.

– Upstream

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