Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Rebels will be part of Interim Government- Al-Kib | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- As Libya celebrates the capture of fugitive Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the political argument over the Libyan revolutionaries’ future role in managing the country’s affairs has intensified.

Libyan Interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib informed Asharq Al-Awsat that he was putting the final touches on his government’s formation, the first since late Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, and pointed out that the government would be announced Monday at the latest.

In exclusive statements to Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone from Benghazi, the revolutionaries’ stronghold and the National Transitional Council’s [NTC] previous headquarters, Al-Kib said his government would be made up of 24 ministerial portfolios, adding that it would be natural for the revolutionaries to be in it in view of their role in the Libyan revolution’s success against Gaddafi since 17 February.

Despite his preoccupation with a series of almost endless meetings while the Libyan street waits for the government’s final make-up, Al-Kib, who came out from a local meeting to answer Asharq Al-Awsat’s questions, said he was optimist about his government’s future and the way local public would deal with it when it starts functioning very soon.

According to the NTC’s roadmap, this interim government should be formed no later than one month from the date the country’s liberation was officially announced on 23 October, that is, three days after Gaddafi’s killing at his birthplace in the coastal city of Sirte.

Al-Kib told Asharq Al-Awsat he would present the official list of his government to the NTC which would meet later under the chairmanship of Counsellor Mustafa Abdul-Jalil to approve it. He added that “this is the government of all the Libyans. We will not favor or side with one party at the expense of another. We will be eager to have everybody represented. As I said in the past, competence, patriotism, and honesty are our criteria.” He appeared confident as he stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that there was no problem in the issue of the revolutionaries’ presence in his government, which was almost tantamount to an indirect response to criticisms by some revolutionaries’ leaders or the tacit threats to bring down the government before it has started functioning if they were not given ministerial portfolios. He added: “The government will be announced, God willing, on Sunday or Monday.”

Asked whether the government would be announced from the capital Tripoli or Benghazi, he answered: “There is no difference. Libya is one. The NTC will decide the venue for the announcement. There is absolutely no problem with this.” As to the way his government would be presented, he said: “We will present the list and if they (the NTC members) have any queries or questions we will answer them and clarify everything. This is an ordinary matter of approval like it is in most countries.”

Al-Kib’s government has to win the NTC confidence before it is announced while officials in the NTC are telling Asharq Al-Awsat there is no problem with this and the government will get the council’s vote of confidence because it will include some NTC members in addition to others from the active military and security leaders.

Al-Kib stressed that the revolutionaries have naturally an important role in the government and said: “In addition to their role in the revolution, they represent a principal part of Libyan society. This is a normal and obvious matter and does not need questions or disagreements.” He adds that his primary preoccupation in forming the government is that it should include competent experts to manage the oil-rich country and arrange the elections to elect a constitutional council by June.