8 vie to become Libya's new PM

2012-09-06 15:24
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Tripoli - Eight candidates are to contest a 12 September election among members of the General National Congress to become Libya's new prime minister, an official source said on Thursday.

Among them are Mahmud Jibril, who led a transitional council during last year's revolution which toppled Muammar Gaddafi and now heads the liberal National Forces Alliance, and Electricity Minister Awadh al-Barassi, an Islamist.

The vote for the new premier will be held among the 200 members of the country's national assembly that was itself elected in early July.

Current vice premier Mustafa Abu Shagur, considered close to the Islamists, is also a candidate to succeed the transitional prime minister, Abdel Rahim al-Kib, the Integrity and Patriotism Commission added.

The commission ratifies prospective candidates to ensure they have not been implicated in cases of corruption or in repression during the 2011 uprising that led to Kadhafi's ouster and subsequent killing.

Jibril's coalition of some 60 small liberal groupings holds 39 of the 80 assembly seats reserved for political parties.

The Justice and Construction Party, born from the Muslim Brotherhood, is the second largest grouping in the congress with 17 seats.

In addition to the 80 seats reserved for parties, 120 General National Congress seats are reserved for independents whose affiliations are less predictable.

Among the independent candidates for the post of premier is Abdelhamid al-Naami, head of the small Libyan Centre party.

The main tasks facing the new administration will be to tackle rampant security problems and reconstruct sectors of the oil-rich country damaged in last year's conflict.

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