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Libyan lawmakers confirm unifying interim government

Libyan lawmakers confirm unifying interim government

BENIGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libyan lawmakers confirmed a newly appointed government on Wednesday to lead the war-wrecked country through elections by the end of the year.

The government of Prime Minister designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah replaces two rival administrations that have been ruling the North African country for years.

More than 130 members of the House of Representatives engaged in two-day deliberations in the coastal city of Sirte.

The confirmation came after Dbeibah last week presented his proposed Cabinet to Speaker Aguila Saleh.

Dbeibah, a powerful businessman from the western city of Misrata, was appointed last month to lead the executive branch of an interim government that also includes a three-member Presidential Council chaired by Mohammad Younes Menfi, a Libyan diplomat from the country’s east.

The transitional government is to lead the country through elections, scheduled for Dec. 24, according to a U.N.-brokered roadmap.

Dbeibah’s proposed Cabinet includes 33 ministers and two deputy prime ministers who he said are representative of Libya’s different geographic areas and social segments.

Oil-rich Libya was plunged into chaos after a 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The country has been divided between two governments, one in the east and another in the west, each backed by a vast array of militias as well as foreign powers.