Africa

Ali Zidan elected Libya's new prime minister

  • 14 October 2012
  • From the section Africa
Libya's prime minister-elect Ali Zidan
Ali Zidan defected from the Gaddafi regime

Libya's national congress has elected a new prime minister, Ali Zidan.

Mr Zidan, an independent, won 93 votes - a majority among those present. He beat a candidate favoured by the Justice and Construction party - which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The president of the national assembly, announcing his victory, asked Mr Zidan to propose a cabinet within two weeks.

The previous PM, Mustafa Abu Shagur, was dismissed a week ago after failing to form a government.

Mr Zidan was a career diplomat for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi before defecting in 1980 and joining the opposition in exile.

Local observers see him as a liberal with a strong personality, says the BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli.

He served the former transitional government as its Europe envoy, and was seen as a key player in convincing the ex-French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to support the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi.

His election comes at a critical time, with security still not established across the country and western Libya seeing outbreaks of renewed violence, our correspondent adds.