Libyan premier survives no confidence vote

22 January 2014

Ali Zeidan has come under pressure due to ongoing security crisis

Libya’s embattled prime minister, Ali Zeidan has survived a no-confidence vote by the transitional General National Congress (GNC), as his opponents failed to gather enough support.

Almost 100 congress members confirmed they would withdraw their confidence in Zeidan, falling short of the 120 members out of 200 required to remove him, according to a statement from the GNC.

The Justice & Construction Party, which is affiliated with Libya’s chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, also withdrew its ministers from the government over its poor performance in handling oil protesters, militias and security, according to the Libya Herald, a local newspaper.

The ministers are:

  • Oil Minister Abdulbari al-Arusi
  • Housing & Utilities Minister Ali al-Sherief
  • Youth & Sport Minister Abdul Salam Guelleh
  • Economy Minister Mustafa Abu Fana
  • Electricity Minister Ali Maihiriq

No new ministers have been announced to take their place.

“We tried several times to repair and reform the performance of the government, but unfortunately they have continued to work at the same level with no success,” Mohamed al-Harizi, a member of the Justice & Construction Party’s executive office, told the Tripoli-based newspaper.

In August, Libya’s second deputy prime minister, Awad Ibrahim Elbarasi, another Justice & Construction party member, resigned his post, citing the government’s failure to establish law and order as a reason.

The government has come under intense pressure due to separatist movements in the east of the country, which continue to blockade the key eastern oil export terminals of Ras Lanuf, El-Sider and Zueitina. Together the ports can ship about 600,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude.

Production was restarted at the key El-Sharara oil field in early January, ending a two-month blockade and boosting production to about 582,000 b/d currently. However, this is well short of the 1.4 million b/d produced in June last year, when the oil blockades began.

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