Shootings were heard outside Libya’s national assembly following the approval of a new government on Wednesday as security forces fired bullets to disperse protesters, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
Security forces fired in the air as they struggled to prevent chaos. “There are demonstrators outside the building and security forces are trying to keep them at bay,” said Salah Mohammed Hassan, a representative from the eastern town of Darna.
More than a dozen security vehicles were stationed at the assembly building and a throng of about 60 people had gathered outside the main gate which was shut tight, an AFP photographer reported.
“The blood of our martyrs was not spilled in vain,” chanted some, while others said they had come to air their objections to some of the ministers.
There were no visible efforts to negotiate with the crowd but a security source contacted inside the building said the situation was “under control” and that assembly members had managed to leave the building after the session.
The shooting came after the Libyan national assembly approved prime minister Ali Zeidan’s new government.
“The General National Congress gives its confidence to the government of Ali Zeidan,” the official LANA news agency reported.
A total of 105 members voted in favor, 18 abstained and nine voted against, state television said.
Zeidan, the second prime minister designate to try to form a government since the assembly was elected in July, had presented a 30-member line-up including both liberals and Islamists.
The assembly's approval for Zeidan’s cabinet line-up is needed for him to assume office replacing Abdel Rahim al-Kib, who has served as prime minister since November last year.
No date has yet been set for his formal swearing-in.
Zeidan’s program puts heavy emphasis on reforming the army and police, which remain heavily dependent on the myriad of former rebel militias that have yet to be brought under unified command since the uprising.
On Tuesday, a dozen demonstrators stormed the assembly building prompting a postponement for the cabinet voting that was supposed to be completed on the same day.
Images aired on state television showed angry scenes in the chamber as assembly members prepared to vote one by one on the Cabinet.
The protesters entered the assembly but security services kept them on the sidelines.