Crowds gather to listen to Libya's newly-elected interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Keib
Crowds gather to listen to Libya's newly-elected interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Keib during his visit to Freedom Square in the eastern port city of Benghazi. © Abdullah Doma - AFP
Crowds gather to listen to Libya's newly-elected interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Keib
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Ines Bel Aiba, AFP
Last updated: November 11, 2011

PM: Libya will have transparent government

Libya's transitional post-Kadhafi government will be transparent and will not include anyone from the late strongman's regime, the country's interim premier said on Friday.

Abdel Rahim al-Kib told a crowd gathered in the eastern city of Benghazi, birthplace of the revolution, that the "interim government will be frank with you about everything ... We will be frank and transparent".

"I promise you that this government will not be soiled by opportunists nor by members of the (former) regime," he said, to the cheers of the crowd.

However, he called on the people "not to expect miracles.

"We face a new phase, a phase that is delicate and historic, which is a test of our will," he said, calling for the "mutual aid and cooperation" of all Libyans.

"The future is for us all," he said. "We need to combine all our efforts at this critical stage. The needs of Libya must be above all interests, personal or regional."

Kib, a native of Tripoli who has until November 23 to form a government, paid homage to Benghazi, which he called the "spark" of the revolution that overthrew Kadhafi.

"The tyrant (Kadhafi) played the card of regionalism," he said. Today, the "future belongs to all Libyans; there is no place in the new Libya for discrimination."

As he spoke, Kib was interrupted by cries of "neither east, nor west: national unity".

"The era of the tyrant left many wounds, but it is time to patch up those wounds and open a new chapter," he said.

Kib, a university professor, was chosen by the National Transitional Council (NTC) on October 31 to form an interim government.

Earlier on Friday, dozens of people demonstrated in Benghazi calling for the quick formation of a national army to replace the voluntary militias that overthrew Kadhafi.

"Yes to the national army, no to armed militias" and "No to a militia parallel to the army," shouted demonstrators, among whom were officers of the former army and members of the voluntary brigades that waged war against the former strongman.

"We do not want a second Hezbollah," said one of the organisers, referring to Lebanon's powerful armed Shiite movement whose militia exists parallel to the national army.

Colonel Abdelmottaleb Miled said "we want a national army that defends the constitution, the borders of the state, a civil state. We are against extremism".

Nearly three months after rebel fighters loyal to the NTC seized the capital, the army has still not been reconstituted.

The issue is particularly sensitive because some of the brigades are refusing to lay down their arms.

At the same time, a number of officers defected to the rebellion, and they are viewed with mistrust, if not hostility, by the militias.

A meeting on the matter is set to be held in Benghazi, the birthplace of the Libyan revolution, in the coming days.

"The position of the NTC is still hazy," former air force Colonel Ibrahim al-Fituri said, accusing the "Islamist current, supported by Qatar" of blocking the formation of a new national military.

The NTC is made up of different political factions, whose differences are becoming increasingly confrontational.

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