By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 10 December:
Ali Zeidan’s proposed foreign minister Ali Aujali failed to appear at the National Congress on Sunday, where . . .[restrict]he was due to take his oath of office having been cleared by the Integrity Commission.
Qaddafi’s former ambassador to the United States was cleared on 27 November, after it was determined that he had broken away from the regime on 22 February, well before the 20 March cut-off point, and did not fall foul of any of the Commission’s other criteria.
Two explanations have been put forward as to why Aujali stayed away, the first that he objected to additional questions being asked about his suitability for office, and the second that he refused to attend without a guarantee that he would be sworn in with the unanimous support of Congress.
Obtaining the latter criteria may be difficult, with Aujali arguably Zeidan’s most controversial appointment Two days after his name was announced as the choice for foreign minister, three groups of revolutionaries staged a demonstration outside Congress demanding his removal together with five other ministers. In spite of his early defection to the revolution, Aujali’s is the name most often mentioned as problematic by both critics and supporters of the Zeidan government.
Whilst Aujali stayed away, two other ministers were sworn into office yesterday, Agriculture Minister Ahmed Al-Urfi and Social Affairs Minister Kamla Al-Mazini. Both were cleared by the Integrity Commission on 27 November, the same day as Aujali. [/restrict]