TRIPOLI - The General National Congress on Sunday rejected a 10-member “crisis government” proposed by Libya’s Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur and dismissed him, the presidency said.

One hundred and twenty-five members in the 200-seat GNC did not express “confidence” in the list, against 44 members for and 17 abstentions, according to a live transmission on state television.

Under GNC rules, the assembly will now elect a new premier after Abu Shagur also had an earlier proposed line-up turned down, and deliberations on the procedure to follow were already beginning late on Sunday. Pending a new vote, GNC members announced their intention to renew their confidence in the outgoing interim administration of premier Abdel Rahim al-Kib.

Earlier, Mustafa Abu Shagur proposed to the General National Congress a “crisis government” of just 10 ministers. “In face of the dangers threatening the country, I present to you a crisis government restricted to 10 ministers, rejecting all geographical considerations,” the premier told the 200 members of the country’s national assembly.

Abdessalem Jadallah al-Salihin, a colonel under the toppled regime of Moammar Gaddafi who defected and led the rebellion in the east against the late dictator, was put forward as defence minister. The premier also proposed police general and lawyer Ashur Shwayel for the interior ministry.

The GNC, which late on Thursday rejected Abu Shagur’s first proposed line-up, gave him 72 hours to build consensus and deliver an amended cabinet list.

The premier said that in putting forward his new cabinet he was not taking either geographical or political considerations into account, and criticised blocs within the assembly for rejecting his original list of choices. “The first government was not perfect. And we should have discussed and modified it,” he said.

“But the demands of members of the congress were unrealistic, with some demanding a minister for their own region, another political bloc wanting 11 ministers and yet another nine. I will not assume responsibility for a team that is not of my own liking,” Abu Shagur said, and called on the GNC to “assume its responsibilities at this historic time.” “I will not abandon my principles and my convictions. I did not return to Libya (from many years in exile) to become head of government, I came back to serve the country and its children,” he said.

Abu Shagur also accused assembly members and political blocs of blackmail. “The political parties have decided to withdraw their confidence in me,” he said, alluding to rumours of a deal between the rival liberal National Forces Alliance coalition and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party.

The NFA of wartime premier Mahmud Jibril was left off the original cabinet list after failed negotiations, and the two blocs are reported to have agreed to form a unity government.

A motion of no confidence in Abu Shagur was signed by 126 assembly members even before he put forward his new line-up, but it was rejected by the GNC president.