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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 June, 2003, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
PM goes in Libya reshuffle
Colonel Gaddafi
Gaddafi has indicated an interest in economic reform
Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has sacked his prime minister and replaced him with an economist, following moves to reform the country's socialist-based economy.

Prime Minister Mubarak Abdallah al-Shamikh will be replaced by former economy and trade minister Shokri Ghanem.

Colonel Gaddafi has recently proposed the wholesale privatisation of Libya's oil sector.

He has also indicated that the country's economy should be opened up both to the domestic private sector and foreign companies.

"The public sector fulfilled its duties in the stage of establishing industries, housing complexes and electricity," Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalqam told the Arabic-language TV station al-Jazeera on Saturday.

"But bureaucracy and the inflated workforce called for reviews," he added.

Reform 'needed'

Libya's General People's Congress also announced that the post of African Unity Minister would be abolished.

The BBC's David Bamford says Colonel Gaddafi seems to have lost interest in his plan for a United States of Africa - which was dismissed from the agenda at an African summit in February.

Soon after his coup in the late 1960s, Colonel Gaddafi initiated the socialist Green Revolution, ending private enterprise and nationalising the country's lucrative oil industry, the primary source of the country's income.

However analysts say that reform appears to be needed.

Unemployment is running at 30%, and some international sanctions - predominantly from the US - remain in place.

Our correspondent says Colonel Gaddafi is known for his combination of great ideas and fickle temperament.

And, our correspondent adds, with his interest in Arab and African unity waning, it seems that his Green Revolution may also be on the way out.

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12 May 03  |  UK

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