By Asmaa Elourfi
In response to protests, Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur withdrew Thursday (October 4th) the government he proposed to the General National Congress for approval.
Abushagur has until Sunday (October 7th) to submit a new list in the wake of protests.
A number of Az-Zawiya revolutionaries protesting the proposed Abushagur government stormed the General National Congress headquarters in Tripoli Thursday morning while the assembly was holding its morning session.
A Congress deputy said that the revolutionaries demanded that Abushagur be dismissed and his government be rejected after Az-Zawiya was excluded from the government formation.
The representative added that Congress head Mohamed Magarief negotiated with the protestors who stormed the building and promised to examine their demands, noting that the Congress was not satisfied with the cabinet list and that it would be discussed.
Meanwhile, Abushagur told Libyan TV that he would change some names and present alternatives in a new formation, which he would announce next Sunday.
“I hope that people will understand and return to the roots, to the successful political regimes in the world so that Libya may get out of its bottleneck,” Hakam al-Houni commented. “We should return to federalism because it is the regime under which Libya had prospered for 13 years.”
In his turn, Tayeb Abdelmalek said, “I want to know the criteria which Dr Abushagur used in choosing his government, as this government doesn’t include names that have executive or academic experiences. There are also ministers who developed their ministries, and therefore, we were expecting that they would stay in office. However, they were dismissed.”
Issa Abdelhamid said the proposed list included several figures from the previous government, something he described as “a negative indicator in view of the criticisms in the street”.
“It was wrong to maintain the same old faces that have been around for two years and couldn’t change anything,” Fathi Amin said. “In fact, the Libyan political circle is closed on itself and doesn’t look beyond its feet.”
But not everyone was opposed to the cabinet list. “This is a government formation that includes more positive points than negative points,” Essam al-Imam said. “We wish them success, and we hope that the General National Congress will fix the negative points in its next sessions.”
For his part, Mahmoud Shammam, the person in charge of the media file in the former executive office at the beginning of revolution, alleged the Abushagur government was “controlled by Islamist parties”.
“We want a national consensus government, a national salvation government consisting of all factions in Libya and not just one party,” Shammam said.
Meanwhile, Adel al-Talhi wondered, “Why cast doubts on the abilities of those ministers? Aren’t they the product of a Libyan environment”?
“Let’s co-operate with them and help them overcome obstacles and difficulties facing them together,” al-Talhi added. “We need to have real partnership to build our nation and government so that the convoy of revolution may reach the shore of safety and realise its goals; a society where social justice, freedom and dignity prevail, a society for all where everyone have rights and duties towards their nation.”