Libyans fail to agree on new government

The cabinet — or executive committee — was dissolved last month after procedural errors in the handling of the unexplained shooting dead of the newly ruling National Transitional Council’s (NTC) military chief.

A new executive committee, to include officials responsible for defence and interior affairs, was supposed to be appointed by interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril yesterday.

But the talks broke down when his proposals did not receive full backing from all current members.

“We had an advisory meeting with the NTC in order to form a new cabinet. We have agreed on a number of portfolios. We still have more portfolios to be discussed,” Jibril told reporters through a translator at a news conference yesterday.

NTC officials, including the head of the committee for political affairs, Fathi Baja, told Reuters that Jibril proposed a “transitional government” which would rule until at least the official liberation of the country.

It is not clear what liberation entails but it is likely to be conditional upon the capture of fugitive ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi and the defeat of his loyalists who still hold three key towns in the country.

“The meeting was to form a transitional government. (The NTC) reduced the number of portfolios from 36 in the original proposal to around 24 but no names are confirmed,” NTC spokesman, Jalal el-Gallal, told Reuters.

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