NTC elects new head of Libyan interim gov't

Abdel Rahim el-Keeb, a professor of Tripoli University, was elected Monday as Libya's new interim prime minister.

El-Keeb, also a member of the National Transitional Council for Tripoli, won 26 out of 51 votes, which was conducted in the presence of domestic and foreign journalists in the capital.

"Libya is bigger than any individual and I will serve Libya and its people with may heart and soul," el-Keeb said.

An NTC official said there were originally eight candidates competing for the post, but three of them withdrew from the race before the public vote.

"We choose Keeb to reform our transitional government," said Vice Chairman of the NTC Abdel Hafiz Ghoga.

El-Keeb will replace Mahmoud Jibril, who has repeatedly said he would step down as the country's interim prime minister, officially known as head of the NTC's executive board, after NTC forces took full control of Libya.

Mahmoud Jibril, born in 1952, was appointed as the Head of International Affairs and Chairman of the Executive Board of NTC since the NTC was found.

The former senior economic official in Gaddafi's regime hold a master's degree in political science in 1980 and doctorate in strategic planning and decision-making from the U.S. University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Referring as the foreign minister of the NTC, Jibril was the most familiar international face of the NTC since he successfully persuaded the western powers to recognize and support the NTC to oust Gaddafi's rule, particularly in imposing the no-fly zone backed by the U.N. Security Council.

The NTC declared "liberation" of Libya on Oct. 23, three days after former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in his hometown Sirte.

[Source: Xinhua, Tripoli, 01Nov11]

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