Political instability and lack of security grows in Libya
Libya may or may not have a new Prime Minister and Libya may or may not have a new government.
The situation on the ground seems confusing and contradictory with no-one really sure as to who is in charge. Depending upon who you ask you will probably get different answers.
Yesterday some media outlets were suggesting that Ahmed Maetig had been sworn as Libya’s new prime minister. We reported back on 6th May that he had been elected Prime Minister on 4th May but that was subsequently questioned.
Despite the apparent new election of Maetig by 83 lawmakers, the General National Congress (GNC) First Deputy Speaker Ezzidden Al-Awami told Caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni to remain in post because the election hadn’t been held in a ‘legal and proper way’.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister’s office announced that Thinni had declined the offer by Maetig to become his Defence Minister in the new Cabinet. The Cabinet is, in any case, incomplete with no nominations for Health, Foreign Affairs and Planning, according to the Libya Herald.
Whilst this has been happening former General Khalifa Belqasim Haftar has been winning support for taking on Islamist militia as he takes command of the 6,000 soldiers in the Libyan National Army (LNA). He opposes the GNC and the government and is taking on Islamist groups such as Ansar al-Sharia in the Benghazi region.
Haftar’s actions have split the GNC between the Islamist elements who elected Ahmed Maetig and the rest who still consider Abdullah Al-Thinni to be Prime Minister.
The GNC has announced that there will be fresh elections on 25th June but will the security situation allow for an election and will a constitution be ready by then. For now the GNC appears to be dividing into ever more fractious factions whilst the militia take more and more control of pockets of Libya and General Haftar appears to be trying to bring order to the country.
The GNC appears to be badly weakened, militant Islamist groups appear to be taking over more of Libya, neighbouring government’s especially Egypt and Algeria appear to be growing more concerned about the insecurity and the forces around general Haftar appear to be adopting an ever more conventional style of all out warfare. The next few weeks could be crucial.