By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 4 May 2014:
In an unexpected final twist to today’s proceedings in the General National Congress, Ahmed Maetig was . . .[restrict]appointed Prime Minister after Congress members persuaded the deputy President to re-run a vote of confidence in him. He passed the 120-vote threshold by one vote.
In the earlier vote of confidence, he gained 113 votes, seven short of the figure needed to make him Prime Minister. He was then sworn in as Prime Minister and given two weeks to form a government.
The second vote took place after a number of absent Congress members were summonsed by colleagues to go in and vote.
“We were calling them out from their homes,” one GNC member told the Libya Herald.
“Some people had been unable to attend,” said Benghazi Congressman Ahmed Langhi. “They were called in. It’s perfectly normal bringing them in, so long as they cast their votes.”
It had been thought after the first confidence vote that the issue was finished and that Abdullah Al-Thinni would remain as Prime Minister by default. Amidst increasingly rowdy scenes in Congress with members shouting at each other, First Deputy President Ezzidden Al-Awami, who had chaired the session, closed proceedings and left.
At that point, according to Justice and Construction Party Congresswomen Amina Mahjoub, a number of members managed to convince the Second Deputy President, Saleh Makhzoum, that Awami was wrong to have ended the session and that he should have asked members if they wanted it to continue. “Based on that, he [Makhzoum] then re-activated the session.”
The Second Deputy President, who administered the oath to Maetig, told him that he had a fortnight to form a government and present it to Congress. He added, however, that it would be greatly appreciated if he did it more quickly. “You know the nation will not wait,”he told him.
Congress’ determination to replace Thinni regardless of how short a time any new prime minister would have in office, is seen as resulting from the fact that he was increasingly ignoring it.
Despite 121 members voting for Maetig, there was a vocal and seemingly bitter minority opposed to him, who vented their anger in Congress after the vote. Maetig, living in Tripoli but originally from from Misrata, now has the difficult task of uniting the country behind him. [/restrict]