By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 25 June 2013:
In the first round of voting in Congress today for a new president, Nuri Abu Sahmain and Sharif Al-Wafi Mohamed emerged as the front runners.
The ten candidates were:
- Mousa Faraj Saleh (Ajdabiya)
- Fawzi Rajab. (Shahat)
- Shirif Al-Wafi Mohamed (Marj)
- Abdelmoneim Faraj Al-Waihaishi (Benghazi)
- Mohammed Saad Elmazeb (Ajdabiya)
- Safwan Ahmed Milad (Hay Al-Andalus)
- Najmiddeen Abdul Jalil Saleh Ennemr (Salloug)
- Idris Mohamed Abufaid (Gharian)
- Jumaa Asswiee Sayah (Annasiriyah)
- Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain (Zuara)
All are technically independents having been elected as individuals, except Safwan Ahmed Milad who was elected on the party list as a member of the Al-Asala and Development Party. However, Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain is a member of the Martyrs’ Loyalty Block of Congress members. He has said that, if elected, he would resign.
A second, run-off, ballot will take place later today.
One hundred and eighty three members of Congress took part in the first ballot. Abu Sahmain, who is supported by the Justice and Construction Party won 73 votes while Sherif Al-Wafi Muhamed, backed by the National Alliance Forces, won 60.
Both candidates told the Libya Herald that they will cooperate with any parties and blocs providing their ideas are in the county’s interests.
Before the vote, the Justice and Construction Party had demanded that it be delayed until the candidates had been vetted by Political Isolation Law Standards Commission, according to J&C Congresswoman Majida Falah.
However, Acting Congress President Jumaa Ateega said that in the event of the new president being “isolated”, he would be removed and Congress would hold another election. The ruling did not satisfy Benghazi Congressman Mohamed Khalil Zarouq who, although technically an independent, supports the J&C. He walked out.
“In my opinion, Congress should wait to elect a new head because there is no lack (of leadership) after Magrief resignation.The two deputies Jumaa Ateega and Saleh Makhzoom run Congress well so there is no need to elect a new one before the Political Isolation Law is fully implemented.” Zarouq told the Libya Herald.