Libyan ministers face reshuffle

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Tripoli - Libya's ruling National Transitional Council is reviewing the work of some of the government's ministers and may choose to replace them, an NTC spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Mohammed al-Harizy declined to say which ministers were under review or whether the prime minister was among them, but said there could be a reshuffle in the next few weeks.

“There is a discussion over the performance of some of the ministers in the government and a possibility that some ministers will be changed,” he told Reuters on Tuesday. “But no decision has been made.”

If it went ahead, it would be the second reshuffle of Libya's interim government since its creation.

Last November, Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib was brought in to deal with the tricky task of managing the transition from civil war to democracy. He chose a new cabinet which began to integrate former rebel fighters into a new national army and to build new government institutions from scratch.

But the NTC has been looking into the activity of ministries, including the health ministry run by Fatima al-Hamroush, which has been hit by scandal.

On April 7, the NTC was forced to halt a ministry of health scheme to pay compensation to people who fought in last year's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi because the programme turned out to be corrupt.

The ministry had spent 1.8 billion Libyan dinars in less than three months, the NTC discovered, and some of the money had been doled out to people who were dead or who had never even fought in the uprising.

Earlier this year, the same ministry also had to cancel another programme meant to provide free overseas medical care for the uprising's wounded after it turned out to be riddled with fraud too.

In that case, the government discovered it was picking up the airfares, medical and hotel bills of people who had simply obtained faked documents saying they were wounded. - Reuters


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