Libyan PM vows Cabinet reshuffle, praises militias

May 8, 2013 - 3:35 PM
Mideast Libya

FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 file photo, Libyan interim president, Mohammed el-Megarif, flashes the victory sign to crowds during the celebration of the second anniversary of the Libyan revolution in Benghazi, Libya. A new law that excludes former officials of the Moammar Gadhafi era from public office is dividing Libya and deepening the turmoil that has plagued the country since the civil war that ousted the erratic leader. Passed by lawmakers essentially at gunpoint, it bans not just those who held office but even clerics who glorified the dictator and researchers who worked on his notorious political tract, the Green Book. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's prime minister has promised a Cabinet reshuffle and praised militias by saying they are "revolutionaries" in an apparent bid to defuse tension after the armed groups ended a more than 10-day siege of government institutions.

The militias had surrounded buildings to pressure the central government to pass a law excluding Moammar Gadhafi-era officials from public office.

The law was passed over the weekend, but the militias had maintained the siege as they demanded the dismissal of Premier Ali Zidan himself.

Militias, including former rebels who toppled Gadhafi in 2011, have refused to lay down their arms.

Zidan, who has challenged the groups since assuming his post in November, backed down at a press conference Wednesday by saying "we have no militias, we have revolutionaries."