By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 29 April 2104:
In a first round of voting in the General National Congress today for new Prime . . .[restrict]Minister, none of the seven candidates were able to achieve the threshold of 120 votes or even 50 percent of the votes.
The results were:
- Ahmed Maetiq 67 votes
- Omar Sulaiman Al-Hassi 34 votes
- Mohamed Abdullah Bouker 32 votes
- Bashir Mousa Mohamed Al-Faqhie 5 votes
- Juma Fahaima 4 votes
- Al-Senussi Mohamed Sifhat 3 votes
- Ali Burki 1 vote
One hundred and fifty two Congress members took part in the vote. Six ballot papers were discarded because they were left empty.
A second round now appears set between Omar Ahmed Maetiq, from Misrata, and Omar Sulaiman Al-Hassi, originally from Shihat but now based in Benghazi. Both are primarily supported from within the Islamist Wafa block in Congress and seen as Islamist candidates. However, it is extremely unlikely that either will reach the 120-vote threshold agreed for pointing a prime minister.
Congress members are, however, now divided about the issue of the threshold. Some talk of ignoring it saying that 50 percent of those voting plus 1 would be enough to appoint a prime minister. The threshold figure was ignored when Abdullah Al-Thinni was appointed Prime Minister on 8 April.
Other insist it must be retained.
Following today’s first round vote, members were given time to discuss the issue of the threshold and it was initially said that a second vote would take place later today. Many members, however, left and the matter has now been postponed until next Sunday’s session.
Whether Al-Hassi or Maetiq is elected as prime minister, neither is likely to have more than three or four months in the post as Congress itself will be be dissolved and replaced by a House of Representatives in elections probably at the end of July. The new legislature will then appoint a new prime minister.
It is known, however, that some members of Congress believe that if a new prime minister is appointed, they would be able to delay the dissolution and keep Congress going until next year.