News / Middle East

Libyan Islamist Party's Ministers Quit

FILE - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan
FILE - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan
Reuters
— Libya's Islamist Justice and Construction Party on Tuesday pulled its five ministers, including the oil minister, out of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's government, complicating efforts to stabilize the OPEC country.
 
Two years after Moammer Gadhafi's fall, the oil-producing North African state has struggled to overcome political turmoil and heavily-armed ex-rebels who fought in the 2011 revolt against the autocrat but now refuse to disarm.
 
At least two people were killed in clashes on Tuesday west of Tripoli when soldiers and militia allies attacked an area where they said gunmen still loyal to Gadhafi were holed up, a Reuters witness and officials said.
 
Resignations by JCP, which had repeatedly failed to secure a vote of no-confidence against Zeidan, will deepen deadlock in the General National Congress (GNC) parliament, which has made little progress in Libya's transition to democracy.
 
“Zeidan failed in his duty to provide security, and to deliver in the electricity and oil sectors,” Nizar Kawan, a leading JCP member, said in a statement.
 
“We had asked for a withdrawal of confidence, but some don't understand the danger of the stage we are at now.”
 
Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi was among those the JCP said was resigning.
 
Cabinet reshuffle
 
Zeidan, a Liberal not linked to any major political bloc, had announced earlier this month that he planned to replace some ministers in a cabinet reshuffle meant to stave off criticism of his government's performance.
 
He has survived several attempts in the GNC to drum up support for a no-confidence vote.
 
The GNC is caught in a stalemate between the JCP, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the leading parliamentary party, National Forces Alliance, a more nationalist coalition.
 
Since the GNC was elected more than a year ago, infighting has delayed legislation, and Libya still has no constitution. Elections are expected next month to choose a 60-member committee to draft the new constitution.
 
Tuesday's clashes broke out after soldiers backed by militia fighters loosely aligned with the government stormed the Warshafena area on the western outskirts of Tripoli to capture gunmen they accused of belonging to pro-Gadhafi forces.
 
At least two people were killed when troops and militiamen fired anti-aircraft guns and rockets into the area where they had said tribal fighters resisted with small rockets, a Reuters witness and hospital officials said.
 
The fighting was the heaviest since rival former rebels and militiamen withdrew from their bases in the Libyan capital late last year when street clashes killed dozens of protesters demanding militias pull out of the city.
 
Controlling former fighters and tribal demands is a major challenge for the central government. One former rebel commander has seized eastern oil ports with his armed militia, holding them since August and choking off oil shipments, to demand more regional autonomy.
 
Zeidan's government managed to restart production in the south and west, bringing oil output up to 600,000 barrels per day.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid