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Libyan lawmakers oust Prime Minister Ali Zeidan

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Former Libyan premier, Ali Zeidan.

The Libyan parliament has ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, after military forces failed to prevent the escape of a North Korea-flagged tanker laden with crude oil.

A total of 124 lawmakers out of 194 in attendance at the General National Congress (GNC) passed a vote of no-confidence – four more than the majority required – to oust Zeidan, MPs said on Tuesday.

The GNC named Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thani as the interim prime minister, having two weeks to find a replacement for Zeidan.

The move follows a standoff between the government and a group of militants in the eastern port of Sidra.

Militants at the rebel-held port loaded oil into a North Korea-flagged tanker, the Morning Glory, which had docked there without government permission on Saturday.

Authorities however later said they had taken control of the tanker and were prepared to unload the crude once it reached a western port, and then launch legal measures against the potential buyers.

However, the seaworthy tanker slipped past the warships during inclement weather early on Tuesday.

Tripoli has made efforts to end a wave of protests at oil ports and fields across the country that have drastically reduced its oil output.

Zeidan had earlier promised that he would end the blockade of all rebel-held ports in the east either through talks or by military force.


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