Libya to Name New Transitional Government Tuesday

Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 4:20 am (UTC-5)
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Libya's transitional Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib is preparing to name a new cabinet that will govern until next year, when it plans to hold the country's first elections since the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in August.

Mr. Keib is expected to name the ministers of his government on Tuesday. Speaking Monday, he said he tried to pick people who are competent and representative of all Libyan regions. The prime minister made the comments in Tripoli at a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

One challenge facing Libya's new transitional government is how to ensure fair trials for Gadhafi's two most wanted aides, his son Seif al-Islam and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi. Libyan revolutionary fighters captured the men in separate raids in the country's southern desert on Saturday and Sunday.

Representatives of the International Criminal Court are due to meet Libyan authorities this week to urge them to transfer Seif al-Islam and Al-Senoussi to ICC custody to face trial in the Dutch city of The Hague. The court has charged the two men with crimes against humanity for their roles in a violent crackdown by Gadhafi forces on this year's Libyan uprising.

Libyan officials have called for the trials to be held inside Libya, insisting they will be fair despite the country's lack of an established judicial system after 42-years of rule by Gadhafi, who deliberately kept state institutions weak. A Libyan militia that captured Seif al-Islam has said it will hold him in the western town of Zintan until Libyan authorities and the ICC agree on trial arrangements.

U.S. envoy Rice told the Tripoli news conference that Libya's friends and neighbors must respect the country's sovereignty when considering the issue of where to hold the trials.

U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland called on Libyan authorities to deal with all prisoners humanely.

Gadhafi was killed in October as transitional forces took control of his hometown of Sirte.