Tripoli, 21 September:
Four existing ministers are to remain in the government of Mustafa Abushagur, pending approval by the National Congress, sources . . .[restrict]close to the prime minister-elect have told the Libya Herald.
Those reported to be staying are Electricity Minister Awad Barasi, Communications Minister Anwar Al-Fitouri, Oil Minister Abdulrahman Ben Yezza and Education Minister Suleiman Al-Sahli.
The information contradicts previous and somewhat surprising reports that just Barasi and Labour Minister Mustafa Rujibani would remain in their posts.
Rujibani has received decidedly mixed reviews as Labour Minister, whilst Oil Minister Ben Yezza is widely viewed as a competent pair of hands.
In addition to serving in the transitional government, both Communications Minister Fitouri and Education Minister Sahli served in their respective posts in the NTC’s executive office under Mahmoud Jibril before that.
Electricity Minister Barasi also served in the executive office, again in the same post that he holds now, and he stood against Abushagur for prime minister but was eliminated in the first round of voting.
All three men are credited with having considerable experience in their respective fields and it is said that they will remain in their current ministries under Abushagur.
Abushagur is due to announce his choices for cabinet on 30 September, and nothing has been definitely confirmed other than his desire to form a government of national unity.
Yesterday it was also rumoured that the Justice & Construction party of Mohammed Sawan had agreed to support an Abushagur government.
National Forces Alliance leader Mahmoud Jibril, who lost out to Abushagur in the prime minister’s race by just two votes, has also declared his willingness to support the government in principle. [/restrict]