Libya elects Ali Zidan new prime minister

Mahmud Jibril (R) and ambassador Ali Zidan (L) on July 13, 2011 at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels.</p>

Mahmud Jibril (R) and ambassador Ali Zidan (L) on July 13, 2011 at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels.

Libya’s Congress elected Ali Zidan interim prime minister, a week after his predecessor Mustafa Abu Shagur was fired after failing to form a government.

Zidan, a human rights lawyer, won 93 votes, a majority of the votes "to determine the country’s leader for a transitional period of around 20 months," according to the Associated Press.

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The BBC reported he beat rival Mohammed Al-Harari.

His main task will be to form a coalition government that Congress approves. The AP wrote that Cabinet will attempt to "disarm thousands of young men who fought in last year’s eight-month civil war that led to the capture and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi."

Zidan was a diplomat under Gaddafi until 1980 and later joined the opposition in exile, the BBC wrote.

The election comes at a difficult time for Libya as it attempts to disarm rival factions and follows the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others who were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.