By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 5 September:
Eight names have been submitted to the General National Congress (GNC) for the post of prime minister, with the nominations process having come to an end today.
In addition to Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur, National Forces Alliance leader and former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and Electricity Minister and Justice and Construction Party candidate Awad Barasi, the five others are: Mohammed Berween, Mohammed Al-Mufti, Fathi Al-Akkari, Abdulhamid Al-Nami and Al-Mabrouk Al-Zway.
Mohammed Berween, who left Libya in 1977 having been previously involved in student protests in Benghazi, remained in exile in the US for 33 years. He was professor of politics at Texas A&M International University until he returned to his hometown of Misrata last December. His rise to political prominence in Libya stems from his having organised the local elections in Misrata in February. The system which he devised from scratch then served as a blueprint for local elections in other towns in the country.
Mohammed Al-Mufti is a writer and researcher in the field of modern Libyan history. He was born in Derna in 1943 and graduated as a medical doctor from Leeds University in the UK in 1968. Since then he has been a surgeon in Benghazi, published research in medical and surgical journals, authored a number of medical books in Arabic and English and has written what is considered one of the outstanding works on Libya’s social history. He was given a ten-year prison sentence by the Qaddafi regime for opposition activites.
Fathi Al-Akkari is Under Secretary at the Minister of Scientific Research and Higher Education. Previously a lecturer in electronic engineering, first at Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland which he joined in 1998, then at Tallaght Institute of Technology in Dublin, he returned during the revolution. He too is a writer, as is Al-Mabrouk Al-Zway.
Given that 15 of the 200-member GNC had to propose each candidate, it would appear that as many as 75 of them are not backing the three front-runners — Jibril, Abdushagur and Barasi. This would therefore throw into question the claims that Jibril has the support of over 80 members, Abushagur of some 60 and Barasi of 50. [/restrict]