By Essam Mohamed
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan and most of his government were sworn in on Wednesday (November 16th) at a ceremony in the great hall of the General National Congress (GNC).
“This government will give its utmost best to the nation based on the rule of law, human rights, democracy, rights, and the belief in God, his Prophet and a state based on Islam,” said Zidan.
The confirmation ceremony “is an embodiment of the new Libya”, GNC leader Mohamed Magarief said. “A Libya of goodness, freedom and openness; a Libya of constitutional and democratic reference; a Libya of constitutional plurality and peaceful rotation of power; a Libya of security and safety; a Libya that looks forward to the future with all optimism, resolve and determination.”
The new cabinet will have twelve months to organise new elections on the basis of a new constitution, which has yet to be drafted.
“The relation with the government will be close. It will be a relation of complementarity in this interim period, which will end after one year and two months,” Dr. Saleh al-Makhzoum, second deputy head of the General National Congress, told Magharebia.
“We will work together for the sake of Libya, and to give the Congress a chance to focus on its legislative and oversight role,” he said.
The new cabinet only included 23 of the PM’s 31 nominated ministers. Eight others were not approved and four were rejected by Libya’s anti-corruption body.
The Integrity and Patriotism Commission decided against candidates for the interior ministry, the ministry of electricity, the ministry of higher education and the ministry for relations with the GNC. Members of Congress had reservations on the nominees for the ministry of agriculture, the ministry of social affairs, the ministry of religious affair and the ministry of foreign affairs.
Minister of Martyrs Usama al-Saadi resigned on November 7th.
GNC Spokesman Omar Hamidan said that those rejected by the Integrity and Patriotism Commission have the right to appeal the decisions within 10 days, noting that the appeal would need another 10 days to be examined, and an additional 10 days for judgment procedures and court arrangements to be completed.
“I feel proud to belong to Libya and to be Libyan,” outgoing Prime Minister Abdurrahim El Keib said. “I’m also proud of these great achievements. I wish every success for Zidan’s government. We’re very happy with the peaceful rotation of power in Libya.”
“My colleagues and I were leading this stage as a team, and we’re now moving from the stage of revolution to the stage of building the state. We’ve placed the train on the tracks, but the road is still long, and we all need to take part effectively,” he said.
The General National Congress gave a vote of confidence to Zidan’s new government on October 31st.