TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Dozens of protesters stormed Libya’s national assembly on Tuesday, disrupting a vote on a proposed government, saying they were unhappy with some of the nominated ministers.
The protesters, including civilians and former rebel fighters, charged into the hall as the General National Congress voted on new Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s proposed cabinet line-up, which he had named earlier on Tuesday.
Members of the congress negotiated with the protesters to leave the room and the session was briefly halted.
The meeting later resumed before being disrupted a second time, leading congress leader Mohammed Magarief to announce the session was over.
“My advice would be to postpone the vote until tomorrow,” Magarief told congress.
“What happened will not allow the congress to do its duty in the right way.”
Some congress members had questioned continuing the vote after the first disruption.
“You are continuing the vote in the wrong climate, we are now under pressure,” one said.
Another said the meeting should be moved to the eastern city of Baida, which he said was safer than Tripoli.
In chaotic scenes, protesters could be heard saying they were unhappy with some of Zeidan’s nominations and wanted to get their voices heard.
During the second interruption, some congress members could be scene on television walking in the centre of the hall as others continued to negotiate with the protesters to leave.
Zeidan on Tuesday presented a coalition cabinet drawn from liberal and Islamist parties to the national congress, which had rejected his predecessor’s line-up.
Congress elected Zeidan prime minister this month after his predecessor Mustafa Abushagur lost a confidence vote on his choice of ministers. (Reporting by Taha Zargoun, Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Ghaith Shennib; editing by Andrew Roche)