Libya postpones formation of new government

2011-09-27 14:35

Libya’s new rulers have decided to postpone formation of a transitional government until the entire country is liberated from forces loyal to ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi, an official said today.

“Consultations have led to a decision to postpone the formation of a government until after liberation,” Mustafa el-Huni, a member of the ruling National Transitional Council, said in the NTC’s eastern bastion of Benghazi.

On Saturday, NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said the new government would be announced this week, acknowledging that “differences in views” between members of the NTC and the executive council had delayed a deal.

“We are faced with the Libyan mentality that every tribe, every region, every city has a share in the new government,” Abdel Jalil said.

“But we still have not freed all territory and (fugitive leader Muammar) Gaddafi maintains all of his capacity to do harm, and may harm the Libyans and the entire world,” he said.

“The priority is the liberation of the territory and the restoration of security,” he added, referring to Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte and the town of Bani Walid, the only remaining bastions of the fallen leader’s forces.

The birth of a new government had been due on September 18, but was postponed because of haggling over portfolios.

Prior to a meeting on Saturday, one official insisted it would be “decisive”, but another expressed doubts that differences could be overcome.

“There is still no agreement on the composition of the government or the number of its members,” said the sceptical official.

“There are a lot of proposals,” he said, and while there could be a deal, “I fear we will not reach one given the current situation.”

After talks failed on Sunday, NTC number two Mahmud Jibril said much had been achieved and that he expected consultations to be “over quickly”.

At the time, there were expectations that Jibril, a former Gaddafi official, would keep his post as interim premier, while Ali Tarhuni was touted to become vice president in charge of economic affairs.

The defence portfolio was expected to go to Osama al-Juwili and oil to Abdel Rahman bin Yezza.

The NTC is also expected to look into getting women and young people into major roles as deputy ministers and directors general of ministries.

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