By George Grant.
Tripoli, 10 August:
National Front leader Mohammed Magarief has triumphed in the race to become speaker of the National Congress, . . .[restrict]overturning an earlier lead by rival Ali Zidan.
Zidan led the contest after the first round of voting yesterday evening, having picked up 80 votes to Magarief’s 56.
A further 62 votes went to three other candidates who failed to proceed to the next round of the contest, 53 of them to Union for Homeland leader Abdulrahman Sewehli.
Whilst Zidan picked up just five additional votes in the final round, taking his total to 85, Magarief was able to double his share of the vote to 113.
Key to his success were votes from former Sewehli supporters, with the two men known to have supported one another in the election.
As Speaker, Magarief is now effectively Libya’s acting head of state, although the true extent of his powers remain undetermined as yet.
The Congress will now move to select two vice speakers, with a final decision expected some time later today. [/restrict]