Libya’s new government was sworn in today before lawmakers, with a third of the nominees absent amid an investigation into their alleged links to the ousted regime of Muammar Qaddafi.
The new government takes over from an interim administration that has struggled to stabilize the north African nation in the year since Qaddafi’s ouster and killing after a bloody eight-month uprising. Since then, the government has been unable to curtail militias amid a security vacuum that has left investors wary of returning despite the country’s oil wealth.
“The new Libya is a democratic and pluralistic Libya and we need security and tranquillity for our people,” Mohammed Magariaf, the head of the General National Congress, said before a packed legislature. Outside, at least 500 police and soldiers patrolled the area around the parliament, backed by heavy weaponry.
“We are looking forward to our future, to achieve our goals with confidence and hope,” Magariaf said.
The decision by a committee to investigate the background of eight of the 27 ministerial hopefuls named by then Prime Minister-elect Ali Zaidan underscored the difficulties of returning stability to the country. Protests over a previous Cabinet named by Zaidan’s predecessor led to protests and cost that premier, Mustafa Abushagur, his job barely a month after he was chosen by lawmakers.
“The next stage is very serious and very important, and we hope we will have a relationship with Ali Zaidan based on coordination, cooperation and respect,” Magariaf said.