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Gunmen Occupy Libyan Parliament Building
November 1, 2012

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Gun-wielding revolutionaries numbering in the hundreds have taken over Libya's Parliament building to protest what they see as the continuation of the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi was killed last year, after being removed from power after decades of an authoritarian regime. Libya's disparate militias found common purpose in opposing Gadhafi and also found common resolve within the international community. But post-Gadhafi political wranglings have proved more difficult for consensus-building for the future direction of the government and the country.

Prime Minister Ali Zidan, not long in the top job after years as a human rights lawyer, had been negotiating with protesters over the makeup of the new Cabinet. Zidan named the Cabinet on Wednesday, and Parliament approved the Cabinet's composition, a vote of confidence that eluded the previous prime minister, Mustafa Abushaqur, who presented two lists of names for Cabinet posts but was told himself to resign. Parliament, which has been in office less than a year and is made up of representatives from the various geographic regions of the country, voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new ministers, two of whom are women.

A large group of protesters had promised a sit-in to protest the appointment of some ministers who are seen to have ties to Gadhafi. The appearance of the armed militia escalated that disagreement.

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