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Libya tense ahead of vote

TRIPOLI: Libya’s legislative assembly gathered yesterday to vote on a law banning officials who worked for Muammar Qaddafi from the new administration, a step that could potentially force out the prime minister and other senior officials.
The wording has been wrangled over for months and yesterday’s vote has been prompted by the actions of heavily armed groups who have taken control of two government ministries and say they will not leave until the legislation is passed.
“It’s a very unfair and extreme law, but we need to put national interests first in order to solve the crisis,” said Tawfiq Breik, spokesman for the liberal National Forces Alliance (NFA) bloc. On Sunday, more than a dozen vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft weapons and machine guns remained parked outside the Justice Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry has been similarly encircled for the past week.
One of the men stationed in front of the Justice Ministry, who said the group came from different areas close to the capital Tripoli, said they would not leave until the prime minister had been forced from office.
“We have been asking them to deal with Qaddafi’s friends for a year,” he said.

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