By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 29 May 2013:
The Prime Minister has confirmed rumours circulating over the past day that that the Agriculture Minister . . .[restrict]Ahmed Al-Urfi had submitted his resignation. At a press conference today Ali Zeidan said that Urufi that had announced his intention to resign two months ago, for some personal reasons. However, he had agreed to the Prime Minister’s request to stay on temporarily until a new minister was found to replace him.
“Dr Ahmed has was an active element in the prime Ministry and he also was very helpful. Personally I respect his decision. A new agriculture minister will be named soon.” Zeidan said.
Urfi is the third minister to submit his resignation in recent weeks. The Defence Minister, Mohamed Bargahthi, announced his resignation on TV on 7 May in response to the armed sieges of the Foreign and Justice Ministries but then withdrew it later the same day after being asked by Zeidan to remain in office. Ashour Shuwail is reported to have also resigned as Interior Minister the same day, although this was not reported for another ten days. He too was asked by the Prime Minister to stay on, but like Urfi agreed to do so only until a replacement was found. His successor, Mohamed Sheikh, was approved as the new interior Minister by Congress at the beginning of the week.
A senior figure in Agriculture Minister’s office told the Libya Herald that Urfi’s resignation was in fact primarily due to concerns about insecurity.
He said that the Minister had tried hard to deal with the Ministry’s problems, but there had been continuous attacks on Ministry projects and no response from the authorities – exactly the same as in the case of the oilfields, he noted.
“These attacks blocked the Ministry’s work. It has had more attacks than most other ministries,” the official said, without going into details.
There were also personal reasons for Urfi’s resignation, he added, but would not elucidate.