News / Middle East

Libyan Islamists Urge PM to Resign Over Corruption, Security

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a joint news conference with Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi at the Prime Minister's Office in Tripoli, July 2013.
Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a joint news conference with Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi at the Prime Minister's Office in Tripoli, July 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The political arm of Libya's Muslim Brotherhood called on Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to resign, accusing him of failing to tackle corruption or build a united national army in a country driven by tribal rivalries.

Mohammad Sawan, who heads the Islamist Justice and Construction party [JCP], second biggest in Libya's legislature, said the party was also considering withdrawing its five ministers in Zeidan's cabinet, including the oil minister.

Zeidan, a liberal who was elected last October, has experienced growing pressure from Islamists and independents displeased with his handling of an unprecedented wave of strikes by oil workers and armed guards that have paralyzed the country's oil production and led to billions of dollars of lost revenues.

Sawan said there was growing support within the 200-member assembly for a vote of no confidence in Zeidan's government.

“We have waited months for Zeidan's government,” Sawan told Reuters in an interview. “Had we believed there was a chance for success of even 10 percent, we would... [wait]. The problem is that for Zeidan to stay in power will only worsen this failure.”

Political and security problems have been worsened by serious electricity and water shortages that have increased daily hardship for many Libyans who feel little has changed since the 2011 war that toppled Moammer Gadhafi.

Zeidan was a favorite of the Islamists' liberal rivals, but the JCP had reluctantly agreed at the time to join his cabinet in a concession to popular demands for a broad-based consensus government to halt the country's descent to chaos Sawan said.

No police on the streets

Sawan accused Zeidan of squandering state budget funds and failing to fight rampant corruption, saying that more than 500,000 Libyans enlisted nominally in various competing army, police and security units were on the state payroll but with a simple policeman not even able to fine a drivers on the streets.

“It's been over eight months and there is no army in existence in Libya. There have been no serious steps taken toward building the army and activating security forces at a time when salaries are paid for hundreds of thousands of police and army,” he said.

“People have not seen anything, no security, nothing, [not even] ... a policeman who is just ready to counsel bad drivers, let alone fine them,” he added.

Armed groups made up of former rebel fighters from different parts of the country have grown in power and ambition nearly two years after Gadhafi was ousted. They hold many government institutions hostage to their demands and the government has struggled to impose its authority over them.

Tensions between Zeidan and the Islamists have come to a head since a visit last week by Zeidan to Egypt, which angered the JCP, with members accusing him of endorsing the Egyptian military's crackdown against former President Mohammad Morsi.

JCP's secular and liberal rivals say the Islamists, whose main strongholds are in coastal cities such as Misrata, have grown in influence in a parliament that was assuming more executive powers and held senior posts in state institutions.

The killing of a secular liberal critic of the Islamists last July drove crowds of angry Libyans to ransack and burn the JCP headquarters in the capital and Benghazi, accusing them of being behind the killings.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid