By George Grant & Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 3 September:
The National Congress has announced a raft of new measures regulating the selection of the prime minister and other senior government officials, including pushing back the date on which a final decision must be made by four days.
The vote on who will become Libya’s next prime minister will now take place on 12 September, with nominations beginning at 10am today, Monday, and continuing for the next 48 hours.
Previously, it had been announced the decision would take place on 8 September, consistent with the requirement of the 3 August 2011 Constitutional Declaration that a prime minister must be selected within 30 days of the first session of the National Congress.
Anyone wishing to stand for prime minister must be nominated by at least 15 members of Congress, with each member only permitted to select one candidate.
Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that no member of the Congress could also be prime minister, and nor could the prime minister hold dual nationality.
It has subsequently been decided that this rule will also apply to the posts of foreign minister, interior minister and defence minister. The holders of those positions must also not have a foreign spouse.
At present, both of the most frequently-mentioned contenders for the prime minister’s job hold foreign passports. Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur is an American citizen, whilst Electricity Minister Awad Barasi holds Canadian nationality.
In the past few days, Mohamed Barween, who was widely hailed for successfully organising the Misrata Local Council elections in February, has also emerged as a contender.
National Forces Alliance leader Mahmoud Jibril, who is also said to be putting himself forward, is widely rumoured to be an American citizen, but this is reportedly untrue, and he does not hold dual nationality.
Once each of the candidates has passed the threshold for nomination, they will be vetted by the Integrity Commission, which will deliver a judgement on their admissibility within five days.