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Libya says to reshuffle cabinet soon as disorder mounts

Source: Reuters - Wed, 8 Jan 2014 01:26 PM
Author: Reuters
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(Adds Zeidan comment, context)

TRIPOLI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said on Wednesday he would reshuffle his cabinet this week or next in a bid to counter critics pursuing a parliamentary vote of no-confidence against him amid mounting disorder in the country.

Zeidan's government is struggling with militias and former rebels who spearheaded the uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, protests from rival political and ethnic groups and a seizure of oil terminals by pro-autonomy factions.

"The cabinet will be appointed, not based on parties and political groups, but will be formed with technocrats and independent experts," Zeidan said, flanked by his cabinet who were giving accounts of their ministry's performances.

The government's major immediate challenge is tackling a group of armed protesters who for six months have controlled important oil terminals in the east, cutting off crude exports and the vital state revenues they generate.

Armed groups demanding autonomy for eastern Libya have invited foreign companies to buy oil from ports they have seized in defiance of the central government in Tripoli.

The development compounded the challenges facing Zeidan's weak central government as various armed factions demand political power and a bigger share of the vast North African country's oil wealth. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Mark Heinrich; writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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