Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Libya's interim prime minister unveils Cabinet

Those chosen to serve were apparently picked to try to help subdue adversarial regional factions in Libya.

November 22, 2011|By Ruth Sherlock, Los Angeles Times
  • Seif Islam Kadafi, Moammar Kadafi's son, is seen arguing Saturday with his captors in Zintan, Libya, in an image taken from newly released video.
Seif Islam Kadafi, Moammar Kadafi's son, is seen arguing Saturday… (APTN )

Reporting from Tripoli, Libya — Libya's interim prime minister on Tuesday unveiled a new Cabinet apparently assembled with an eye to subduing regional factions, which have grown increasingly adversarial in the scramble for power since the overthrow of longtime strongman Moammar Kadafi.

The new political leadership, which will run Libya until elections are held next year, faces the daunting task of creating a workable government and uniting a country ravaged by war and 42 years of dictatorial rule.

"All of Libya is represented," Prime Minister Abdel-Rahim Keeb told a news conference in the capital, Tripoli. "It is hard to say that any area is not represented."

Political wrangling delayed the announcement by several hours, pushing out some seasoned officials many believed would retain positions in the Transitional National Council.

The outgoing oil and finance minister, Ali Tarhouni, a U.S.-based academic who at one point also held the post of deputy prime minister, was scheduled to give a news conference earlier Tuesday. It was canceled, and by the time the Cabinet announcement was made he had vanished from the scene. Hassan Ziglam, an oil industry executive, was instead named finance minister.

Osama Juwali, who heads the military council in the western mountain town of Zintan, became defense minister. The town's brigades played a key role in the advance on Tripoli, which brought down Kadafi's government in August. But Juwali was not viewed as a contender for a Cabinet position until his forces on Saturday captured — and apparently refused to relinquish — Kadafi's son and onetime heir apparent, Seif Islam Kadafi.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has charged Seif Islam Kadafi with alleged crimes against humanity committed during the government's crackdown on protesters. But the country's transitional leaders want him to face justice in Libya.

The international court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said Kadafi did not have to be tried in The Hague if Libya's own justice system was up to the task.

"Our International Criminal Court acts when the national system cannot act," Moreno-Ocampo told reporters upon arrival in Tripoli on Tuesday to confer with the provisional government. "If they prosecute the case here, we will discuss with them how to inform the judges and they can do it. But our judges have to be involved."

There had been fears that Kadafi would meet the same violent end as his father, who was apparently killed by his captors last month during the fall of his hometown, Surt. Officials have promised Seif Islam Kadafi's safety while he's in captivity. But if tried in Libya and found guilty, he could be executed.

Sherlock is a special correspondent.

Times staff writer Alexandra Zavis in Beirut contributed to this report.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|