Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Still no progress on the formation of a new government

It seems that congress is no closer to forming a new government or to agreeing on a new Prime Minister. The issue was supposed to be discussed by congress on 6 April, but the topic was postponed to allow for further talks among the political blocs. The blocs are clearly unable to agree on a candidate that is acceptable to both sides. Reports that leaked out of congress this week suggested that a deal had been struck and that the former head of the Integrity Committee, Omar Al-Hassi, was to be made Prime Minister.

Given that Al-Hassi is an Islamist and known to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood, it was also reported that, in return for his being appointed as Prime Minister, the Islamists had agreed to sacrifice Nouri Abu Sahmaine and to allow his more liberal leaning deputy, Izzadine Al-Awami, to become head of the congress.

Such reports would, however, appear to be unfounded. It is unlikely that the liberals, particularly the National Forces Alliance (NFA), would accept the idea of the Muslim Brotherhood having one of their allies as premier. Similarly, it is difficult to see that the Islamists would be willing to accept the congress being dominated by anyone from outside of their own current.

The congress is still in deadlock, which means that the most likely solution will be for Abdullah Al-Thanni to remain in the post, probably until new elections are held.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2014 Menas Associates

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