Libya's new leader vows to 'deal with' terrorism

Newly elected Libya's General National Congress president Nouri Abusahmain is seen on June 25, 2013 in Tripoli.

Tripoli -  Libya and its national assembly has elected a new president.

Independent MP Nouri Abusahmain, a member of Libya's Berber minority, was elected on Tuesday as head of the National Assembly, making him the country's interim leader.

Abusahmain, the first Berber to hold such a senior post in Libya, was chosen by the assembly on a second ballot.

He received 96 out of 184 votes, compared with 80 for another independent, Al-Sherif al-Wafi.

The election was held after ex-leader Mohammed Magarief stepped down last month.

The move followed the passing of a law which banned anyone who held a senior post under Muammar Gaddafi government.

Abusahmain now has his work cut out for him as Libya has been plagued by violence since Gaddafi’s fall.

The country is awash with weapons in the hands of militia, many of who don’t respect the central government in Tripoli.

In the most recent incident on Tuesday, six soldiers were killed when gunmen attacked a checkpoint south of the coastal city off Sirte.

To add to the country’s woes other leaders said the North African country had become a haven and transit point for terrorists into other parts of the continent - something Abusahmain has vowed to deal with.

In his acceptance speech, he called for unity in the country.

“With God willing, we are trying, and I promise that me and all members will work as one team, we will work as a cell, we will not wait for official protocols that might take us away from the needs of the Libyan streets,” Bousahmain said.

The new president will also play a pivotal role in drafting Libya’s new constitution.


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