Thursday, 11 October 2012

Libya: Back to the drawing board as GNC reject Mustafa Abushagur

The past week has seen further setbacks for post-revolution Libya with continuing security problems throughout the country plus a political dispute which will inevitably delay the formation of a new and legitimate government by at least a month.
Prime Minister elect, Mustafa Abushagur, was dismissed from his post on 7 October following an overwhelming vote of no confidence by the General National Congress (GNC). There were 125 members who voted against him retaining his position, while only 44 voted for him and a further 17 abstained. His dismissal came despite his energetic attempts to sustain his proposals for a new cabinet. Comment & Analysis provides further details and the chronology of the events of the past week.
France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius immediately called off his planned visit to Tripoli on 6 October when it became apparent that there was no legitimate government to talk to; his visit will now be rescheduled for a later date.
The GNC, recognising the need for a swift resolution to the political crisis and to choose a consensus candidate, agreed to a proposal for three new candidates to be nominated on 10 October. The three will be selected from a list of individuals made up of two representatives from each of Congress' main political blocs - the National Forces Alliance (39 representatives); Justice & Construction Party (17); National Agreement group (26); the Workers group (13); and the National Independent group (35) - plus a few genuine independents. The winner, who will certainly have to be a compromise candidate and will not include any of the main politicians who took part in the 12 September election, will need to win 101 of the 200 votes to become the next prime minister elect.
The GNC vote could not have come at a worse time because Libya desperately needs political stability and a strong government which can deal with the current security crisis. There is a very real danger that if the GNC continues for much longer to be unable to elect a prime minister, and then approve his choice of ministers, foreign companies may soon give up on the country and go elsewhere.
For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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