NEW YORK — Libya on Saturday said its economy minister had stepped down following protests against former regime officials serving in the new government.

Government spokesman Ashour Shames said Taher Sharkas resigned due to health reasons, the Associated Press reported.

Protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi had been calling for Sharkas’ removal from the government post since it was determined that he had been named to the same position by Moammar Gadhafi on Aug. 18, only two months before the Libyan dictator was captured and killed in October.

Libyan officials have said they’re open to some reconciliation with ex-regime officials, but demonstrators have mainly been opposed to the idea, the AP reported.

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