After failing twice to form a cabinet, Libyan Prime Minister, Mustafa Abushagur, lost a confidence vote in the Libyan parliament. The vote was 125 to 44 in favor of removing the prime minister.
The General National Congress will now have three to four weeks to elect a new prime minister. Abushagur is the first elected prime minister since the overthrow of Gadaffi last year.Parliament had rejected Abushagur's first list of 29 ministers as not being sufficiently diverse. He had not included anyone from the liberal coalition that had won 39 of 80 seats allocated to political parties. Members of the GNC called those chosen incompetent, unknowns, or leftovers from the transitional government.
Earlier, 150 demonstrators from the town of Zawiyah, who considered the town to be underrepresented, stormed the assembly and marched into the hall where congress was meeting, forcing the cancellation of a session that was to consider the candidates. A representative of the group Nuri Shambi said:"After we heard the list, everyone in Zawiyah was angry. Abushagur said he would form a coalition government and would look at experience. Zawiyah proposed candidates for oil minister, but he's brought in someone who is not well known."
On Sunday, Abushagur submitted a second, shorter list, but that was also rejected by lawmakers. Abushagur, a U.S. trained engineer, lived in the U.S. for some time and taught in U.S. universities. He was elected prime minister by only a small margin over Mahmud Jibril, who is leader of the liberal National Forces Coalition. Perhaps Jibril will be next in line to be prime minister. When a new government is formed, it is expected to be in power only for a year. After the drafting of a constitution and its approval by referendum, new elections will be held.
The new prime minister will no doubt face similar difficulties to Abushagur in choosing a cabinet. The country has many different tribal groups who often vie for power against each other. At one time, Libya was divided into three areas. The eastern part, Cyrenaica, felt that it lacked influence under the Gadaffi regime and wants to gain more power, even declaring itself autonomous. There are still many competing militia in Libya, who will not give up their weapons and power very readily.