Bloomberg News

Libya’s Tarhouni Keeps Oil, Finance Jobs in Cabinet Shakeup

October 03, 2011

(Updates with Abdel Jalil comments starting in fifth paragraph. See EXTRA for more news on the regional turmoil.)

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Libya’s new rulers ended almost two months of speculation and announced a shakeup of the National Transitional Council’s executive board, in which Ali Tarhouni will retain control of the oil and finance portfolios.

Tarhouni will lead the ministries “temporarily” and the state oil company will soon “assume responsibilities for the oil portfolio,” NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil said in a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi today. Abdullah Shammiyah will be in charge of the economy and Mahmoud Jibril will continue to head the NTC executive board, which serves as a Cabinet, and will also take responsibility for foreign affairs.

Creating jobs and income will be the priorities for the board, which will investigate allegations of human-rights violations during the seven-month uprising against Muammar Qaddafi’s rule, Abdel Jalil said.

Jibril was asked to restructure the executive organization on Aug. 8 after the July 28 killing of the council’s military chief, Abdel Fattah Younis, which remains unexplained. The NTC’s drive to consolidate its authority in Libya has been hampered by political infighting and the doggedness of Qaddafi’s supporters in their last two strongholds, Bani Walid and Sirte.

In the news conference today, Jibril said a new government will be formed within a month after the NTC takes full control of Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown, which has a port and an airport. Jibril and Abdel Jalil say that they will step down when this happens. NTC fighters have been trying to take Bani Walid and Sirte since negotiations on their peaceful surrender broke down early last month.

The government that emerges after the taking of Sirte will have eight months to prepare for the election of a national congress that will draft a new constitution. If the constitution is approved by voters in a referendum, parliamentary and presidential elections will follow 12 months later.

--Editors: Heather Langan, Louis Meixler, Ben Holland.

To contact the reporters on this story: Caroline Alexander in London at calexander1@bloomberg.net; Robert Tuttle in Tripoli, Libya, at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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