News / Middle East

Libya's Interim Prime Minister Quits

Tripoli, Libya map
Tripoli, Libya map
Edward Yeranian
Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, who has held the post for less than three weeks, has excused himself from forming a new government, after he and his family came under attack at their home on Saturday.

Thani announced Sunday that he is effectively giving up his post, adding an extra level of uncertainty to an already unsettled political situation.

Thani said in a statement on the government's website that he would not head the next Cabinet, but would stay on in a caretaker capacity until the new government is in place.  He said he made the move to “protect the interests of the country,” and “avoid dragging different sides into a conflict,” in which “everyone would lose.”

Government spokesman Ahmed al Amine indicated that Thani was not stepping down immediately, but an attack on his family had prompted him to seek a successor.

He says Thani has not resigned, but has excused himself from forming the new government.  The prime minister and his family, he added, came under attack by a group of armed militiamen at their home late Saturday.

Tripoli city council head Sadat al Badri condemned the attack against the interim prime minister, calling it “a desperate attempt to destabilize the country.”  He also demanded “armed militias evacuate Libyan cities” and return them to the people.

Former prime minister Ali Zeidan, who was given a vote of no-confidence on March 11th, was briefly kidnapped by militiamen, earlier this year.  The Corinthia Hotel, which has served as a residence for various government officials, also came under attack several times.

University of Tripoli Political Science Professor Ahmed al Atrash tells VOA that he is not expecting any major political disruption from Thani's departure.

"A minister from the same Cabinet may continue until the election for the next three or four months, taking into account the agreement among the council members and the interim government," he said.

He added that the Libyan public is expecting fresh elections for a new parliament in the months to come, so the current state of change will be taken in stride by most people.

Meanwhile, the trial of former leader Moammar Gadhafi's two sons and several former prime ministers got under way briefly in the capital Tripoli, but was quickly adjourned until April 27th.  Investigators say they need more time to finish their cases.  Neither of Gadhafi's sons was present at the trial session.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid