By Farah Waleed.
Tripoli, 5 May 2104:
Congress President Nuri Abu Sahmain has backed Maetig as prime minister, saying . . .[restrict]he approved the contested vote yesterday when he was elected by 121 votes, one more than was constitutionally needed.
Ahmed Lamine, the spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office, said that as a result it had been agreed that Abdullah Al-Thinni would remain as prime minister while Maetig drew up a new government. He would then step down once that new government was presented to Congress and approved.
A maximum deadline of two weeks was given to Maetig by the Second Deputy President of Congress, Salah Makhzoum.
The legality of the election of 42-year-old Maetig, a businessman from Misrata who owns the Thobacts hotel in Tripoli, was challenged yesterday by Thinni and rejected by the First Deputy President of Congress, Ezzidden Al-Awami. The decision by Abu Sahmain, however, is seen as overriding Awami’s objections.
It has, however, already raised questions as to his reasons.
On yesterday’s agenda, Congress was supposed not only to vote on a new prime minister but also to decide on whether Abu Sahmain should continue as Congress President and to approve the budget. In the event, neither were debated. The issue of Sahmain, however, is excepted to resurface.
There have been reports that the Wafa bloc had agreed to replace Abu Sahmain if a prime minister to its liking was chosen. With the election of Maetig, it would seem that the way is now open to his departure. However, by ensuring Maetig’s premiership, many Congress members may be more favourable to retaining him.
There will be no Congress sitting tomorrow, Tuesday. According to the GNC Presidency, the Congressional Committees will review the final draft of 2014 budget, which will be uploaded on the GNC website, before voting on it next Sunday. [/restrict]