By Sami Zaptia
Tripoli, 4 February 2014:
Speaking at Monday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan confirmed that he had presented his . . .[restrict]new Ministerial reshuffle to the GNC in response to the five Justice and Construction party (J&C) Ministers that had resigned last week, as well as other vacancies such as the Interior Minister post.
It will be recalled that the Islamist J&C party withdrew its five Ministers in charge of Oil and Gas, Economy, Housing, Electricity and Sports. The withdrawal from the Zeidan government came after the J&C, as well as other groupings, had failed to succeed in getting a motion of no confidence in the government to a vote at the GNC.
The post of Interior Minister had been vacant since the resignation of Mohamed Al-Sheikh back in August 2013, and the Deputy Prime Minister Sadiq Abdulkarim has been filling-in as acting Interior Minister.
Zeidan did not clarify precisely whether he had proposed just a reshuffle of his present government or whether he had proposed brand new Ministers to fill the vacant posts, or a combination of both.
Analysts are wondering if his opponents in the GNC would automatically scupper his plans to appoint new Ministers and whether Zeidan would side step the need for GNC approval of Ministers, which legally he would need, by simply appointing Deputy Ministers as acting Ministers.
The fact that the post of Interior Minister has remained vacant since August and that the Deputy Prime Minister has been acting as its Minister sets a precedent.
The other alternative would be for Zeidan to merge Ministries into super Ministries, under existing Ministers, thereby doing away with the need to appoint new Ministers and seek their approval from the GNC.
Regarding the reshuffle, the Prime Minister added at the press conference that he hoped that the GNC would approve his proposals quickly. [/restrict]