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Libyan Prime Minister Resigns after Failed Cabinet Attempts
October 7, 2012

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Libya is without a prime minister.

Mustafa Abushagur, elected only recently, was the leader of the country since the downfall last year of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Abushagur did not submit names for his Cabinet within the requisite 25 days following his September 12 appointment, so the parliament voted to remove him from the country's top post.

Abushagur had submitted 10 names for top posts, but the submissions were deemed too little, too late. It was not his first attempt. A similar submission was rejected by parliament several days ago.

The elected parliament is a reflection of the diverse nature of the population, which has varied interests and had found a common interest only in getting rid of Gadhafi. Abushagur was considered a compromise candidate by Islamists and liberals. Many observers think a candidate more acceptable to a wider range of lawmakers could be difficult to find.

The Libyan government, operating in a truly elected fashion for the first time in more than 40 years, will need to approve a new prime minister and a new Cabinet before progressing to crafting a new constitution, which must be approved by national referendum. No timetable exists for any of these tasks. In the meantime, the legislature is nominally running the country.

All of the legal maneuverings took place against the backdrop of renewed interest in Libya, scene of militia uprisings in one part of the country and a vicious attack a few weeks ago, in Benghazi, the second-largest city, that left several people dead, including the U.S. Ambassador.

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