By Libya Herald staff.
Tobruk/Benghazi, 18 September 2014:
The House of Representatives reaffirmed its wish to have Abdullah Al-Thinni as Prime Minister today . . .[restrict]with a fresh vote appointing him to the post. The vote was, moroever, significantly higher than for the initial decision on 1 September asking him to form a new government. Then, 64 out of the 106 members present voted for him. Today, it was 85 out of 103 members, a 30-percent increase in support.
Yesterday, the HoR rejected Thinni’s proposed new 18-member cabinet, threatening to select a new prime minister if he did not produce a slimmed down government within three days and one composed of entirely new faces (apart from him).
Thinni now has a week to come up with a new government. However, the HoR is reported to be sticking to its demands that there be no more than 11 members in the cabinet (including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister) and that no previous holders of ministerial office or those nominated yesterday be included on the new list.
Today’s vote of confidence in Thinni is seen as a hasty realisation in the HoR that events were getting out of hand and that they were losing public support as a result. Rumours that they were considering former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan instead of Thinni, even if untrue, were widely circulated and added to public disillusionment.
“He is the only one who knows the game”, Bengahzi HoR member Ziyah Daghim said of Thinni on TV last night, although he did not explain why other serving ministers did not also fit the description – why they should all go but not the Prime Minister.
Whether the HoR’s demands are met in full remains to be seen. Thinni has earned himself a reputation of political astuteness since becoming Prime Minister in March. He was initially appointed by Congress for a two week period. Despite its subsequent attempts to ditch him, he is still in post while it is legally extinct, although a small rump of its members refuse to accept the fact. [/restrict]