Libya parliament to select new prime minister

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – Libyan lawmakers say the interim parliament is holding a special session to select a new prime minister, more than a month after sacking liberal-leaning Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

Hussein al-Ansari said that in initial voting on Tuesday, the parliament has two candidates to choose from: 42-year-old businessman Ahmed Matiq from the country’s third biggest city of Misrata, and Omar al-Hassi, a political science professor from the country’s second largest city of Benghazi. Al-Hassi is backed by the hard-line Islamist bloc in parliament while Matiq is supported by independents.

Parliament is expected to hold a final session to choose the prime minister later in the day.

Libya has seen a severe deterioration in security over the past two years following the ouster and the killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in an eight-month civil war.

Earlier in the day, a car bomb exploded in front of a military compound in the restive eastern city of Benghazi, killing two soldiers, security officials said.

The official says the bombing took place early on Tuesday morning in front of the Special Forces barracks near the Benghazi airport. He says two other soldiers were wounded by the explosion. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to media.

The government has depended on unruly militias to fill the security vacuum in the absence of a strong police force or a unified military.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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