By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 22 May 2014:
Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Maetig yesterday asked the country for to more time to form a government . . .[restrict]of national unity, fit to weather the current crisis.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday Maetig said he had postponed the announcement of his government to allow more time for the political blocks to discuss recent incidents in Tripoli and Benghazi. He denied the charge that he had sought the office of prime minister for his own ends or those of his backers saying he was not looking for a title but wanted to serve his country.
Maetig said he would welcome those from any side of the political debate who wished to support his government. He added it was crucial that the new cabinet gain the acceptance of the whole country, calling on the “sons of Libya” to help build the nation.
The announcement came a day after a leaked document supposedly emerged from Maetiq’s office containing a list of names for a new crisis government. The list placed Ahmed Maetig in charge of the government’s economic portfolio on top of his duties as Prime Minister. Current Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni was retains his position ad Defence Minister.
It is not known how authentic the list is.
Maetig’s decision to form a new cabinet without a second round of prime ministerial elections comes in direct conflict with advice given to the Congress by the sitting government on Monday. Following an emergency meeting Abdullah Al-Thinni’s cabinet told the General National Congress it should hold a new ballot to choose a Prime Minister, pass the 2014 budget and then cease all its activities.
Maetig stated during the press conference yesterday that it was for Congress to decide its position on fresh prime ministerial elections, not him.
A group of 21 Congress members announced on Tuesday in an open letter that they supported Thinni’s decision. They said Congress had failed to listen to the voices of the Libyan people and that it was in the interest of the entire country that the GNC stepdown.
Maetig said his government would fully support planned elections to the House of Representatives and left with a parting shot at General Khalifa Hafter saying families in the east of the country already knew how bad military regimes could be. [/restrict]