Tripoli , Libya - Libyan defence minister, Abdallah al-Thinni, on Tuesday took the oath of office as acting Prime Minister before the General National Congress (GNC), Libya’s highest legislative and political authority, vowing to 'preserve the integrity and independence of Libya as well as the gains of the revolution of 17 February'.
He swore the oath before members of Congress, who gathered in a hotel room, which has served as its floor, since 2 March, when its headquarters were stormed by demonstrators opposed to the extension of its mandate.
The former Defence Minister has replaced Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was voted out of office by Congress, which has blamed him for failing to restore stability and security in the country.
The immediate cause of the fall of Zeidan was Tuesday's crisis involving the escape of a North Korea-flagged ship which had loaded crude oil at a rebel-held port.
The government and GNC have blamed each other for the failure to conduct the affairs of State.
Zeidan, an independent member of Congress elected with the support of liberals, has since December 2013 survived several no-confidence motions in the GNC because his opponents never achieved the statutory 120 votes out of the 194 members.
Despite the withdrawal in January of Ministers of the Party for Justice and Construction (PJC), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Zeidan remained in power due to dissensions among Congress members.
Zeidan was supported by the Alliance of National Forces (AFN), the country’s major political party, which allowed him to remain in power in spite of the numerous attempts of no-confidence vote against his government.
He has also been blamed for his inability to liberate the main oil terminals in the east blocked since July 2013 by armed groups. This situation has caused national oil production to slump to less than 250,000 barrels per day from 1.5 million barrels per day.
According to observers, Zeidan failed to disarm or integrate militias and other armed groups that have caused violence and insecurity in the country.
Besides, Congress is facing demonstrators who oppose the decision of the institution to extend its mandate until December 2014.
The public outcry prompted Congress to adopt a roadmap for the holding of early presidential and parliamentary elections.