By George Grant.
Tripoli, 30 September:
Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur will announce his choice of Government no later than tomorrow, a senior member . . .[restrict]of his staff has informed the Libya Herald.
The news comes four days after the National Congress threatened to dismiss Abushagur if he failed to conclude his negotiations to from a Government by 7 October.
The Prime Minister-elect will also be meeting with National Forces Alliances leader Mahmoud Jibril today in a last ditch effort to reach agreement over whether the alliance will support the Government.
Some senior Abushagur staff are said to be wary of involving the NFA leader, whom they describe as a difficult personality, adding that considerable differences remain between the two men on a range of critical policy areas.
“For instance, Dr Jibril has very different views from us on reconciliation with former members of the regime and the dismantling of militias”, the source said. “It is not so much the overall objectives that we disagree on as opposed to the means of getting there”.
Jibril, who is due to return from the United Arab Emirates today, is said to advocate a softer line on involving former members of the regime in politics, with Abushagur arguing that the primary concern must be accountability.
The NFA leader is also believed to take a more relaxed view on the dismantling of militias.
“The problem is that he has said he will only join our Government if he can implement his programme, but we have our programme too”, the source said.
On 18 September, Jibril said during an interview in Egpyt that supporting the Government if the NFA could not get its policies through would be “a waste of time”.
Abushagur himself is said to still favour involving the NFA leader, commensurate with his commitment to forming a government of national unity.
The NFA won a sweeping victory on the party lists in July’s National Congress elections, taking 39 of the 80 seats reserved for political parties.
The alliance is also believed to enjoy the support of a significant number of individual candidates.
The NFA will consequently play an important role in ratifying any Abushagur government, which, once submitted, must pass muster with a majority in the National Congress in order to be confirmed.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister-elect announced via Twitter that he was interviewing 20 candidates for cabinet positions, and he has said he has received hundreds of applications from prospective candidates across the country.
On Thursday, Abushagur said that his Government would represent all parts of Libya, but insisted his primary criteria remained competence for the job.
He has remained tight-lipped about who will join the Government, and has not publicly announced a single name to date. [/restrict]