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Libya’s National Congress elected former congressman Ali Zaidan as the country’s new prime minister, and gave him two weeks to form a government.

Zaidan beat out Mohamed Al-Harari, a local government minister, in a 93-85 vote with one lawmaker filing an empty ballot, Mohammed Magariaf, president of the parliament, said in televised comments after the vote yesterday. Lawmakers met yesterday to discuss a pared-down list of four candidates.

The election comes a week after lawmakers in the 200-member legislature withdrew confidence from his predecessor, Mustafa Abushagur, after he twice failed to name a cabinet they found acceptable. Abushagur had held the job for less than a month.

Libya has struggled with its transition following last year’s uprising that ended with the ouster and death of Muammar Qaddafi. The government has been trying to assert its authority and to disband and disarm militias in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left the American ambassador and three others dead.

Business Week

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