Libyan parliament approves new government

Two soldiers stand guard beside an armed pick-up truck outside the Libyan General National Congress
Image caption Heavy security was in evidence outside the Libyan Congress ahead of the vote

Libya's General National Congress has approved the new government led by Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

The vote comes a day after protesters unhappy at the make-up of the proposed cabinet disrupted proceedings.

Mr Zidan's list includes a mixture of liberal figures and Islamists as he tries to build a coalition acceptable to all parties.

The previous Prime Minister, Mustafa Abu Shagur, was dismissed after Congress voted down his cabinet.

Only two-thirds of the assembly's 200 members attended the session on Wednesday and after the vote, the session abruptly adjourned for prayers.

The head of Congress and Libya's interim leader, Mohammed Magarief, said he had been advised by security guards to end the session early.

About 100 protesters stood outside the Congress building, but there was no repeat of Tuesday's disturbances.

Inclusive cabinet

The new government has representatives from the two biggest blocs in the Congress - the Alliance of National Forces, led by liberal former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, and the Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party.

Mr Zidan said he had tried to strike a balance between Libya's different regions in making the appointments.

According to his list, the defence and interior ministries would be headed by ministers from the eastern city of Benghazi, considered to be the cradle of last year's revolution that ended Muammar Gaddafi's rule.

Two women are also among the ministers proposed by Mr Zidan.

The protesters on Tuesday reportedly said some of the proposed ministers had links to Col Gaddafi.

Despite largely peaceful elections in July, Libya's transition continues to be affected by instability.

Reining in the different militia and trying to integrate them into a single national army will be one of the biggest challenges for any new government, analysts say.

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