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Libyan congress approves new government

Libya's congress approved a new government, despite protests.

Libyan cabinet approved by congress october 31 2012Enlarge
Libyan National Congress spokesman Omar Hmaidan holds a press conference in the capital Tripoli on October 31, 2012. Libya's national assembly gave its approval to a cabinet presented by prime minister designate Ali Zeidan weeks after rejecting his predecessor's line-up. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Libya's General National Congress approved the new government led by Prime Minister Ali Zidan after rejecting his predecessor's.

The vote was 105 in favor, nine against, with 18 abstentions. However, the vote came a day after protesters who were unhappy with the proposed cabinet disrupted congress, according to the BBC.

Some protesters alleged that some of the nominees had ties to the overthrown Gaddafi regime. Reuters noted that members still questioned the suitability of several nominees.

"There are some objections about some of the ministries but we don't want to obstruct the government taking up its job," said congress spokesman Omar Hmaidan, according to Reuters. Asked about which appointments had been called into question, he said, "I think interior, religious affairs and also oil, local government and foreign affairs."

Wednesday was also marked by protests, noted Agence France Presse. Zidan, the second prime minister elect to try and form a government since Gaddafi's fall, was elected in July. He presented a 30-member government of both liberals and Islamists. The previous prime minister, Mustafa Abu Shagur, was dismissed when his proposed cabinet was voted down, the BBC reported.

Only two-thirds of the assembly's members attended the session on Wednesday, and the head of the congress and the interim leader of Libya, Mohammed Magarief, said he had been advised to end the session early, according to the BBC.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/121031/libyan-congress-approves-new-government