By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 9 June 2014:
In a very short press conference today, Ahmed Maetig accepted the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that . . .[restrict]his election as prime minister by Congress on 4 May was unconstitutional. He has resigned the appointment.
A spokesman for caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has said that the acting government also accepted the decision and would continue in office. That will almost certainly now be until the new House of Representatives, which will replace Congress, meets and appoints a new government, probably sometime in September.
Elections to the House of Representatives take place in just over two and a half weeks’ time.
The court ruling is seen as major blow to the Muslim Brotherhood which had supported Maetig’s appointment, and to the many Congress members who wanted to get rid of Thinni and his government. Nor will it be happily received in Misrata, Maetig’s home city.
However, the decision is elsewhere seen as resolving the month-long political crisis of competing prime ministers which was threatening to tear the county apart. In the east of the country, where Thinni is currently based, Ibrahim Jadhran’s Cyrenaica federalists have welcomed the ruling.
The east as a whole was largely opposed to Maetig’s appointment.
Although Congress Second President Saleh Makhzoum who chaired the controversial session that elected Maetig has also said that Congress respects the judgement, he called for emergency session tomorrow to debate the decision.
Theoretically, Congress could call for a new vote and appoint Maetig afresh, but he is unlikely to accept a second appointment. He is known to have had misgivings about accepting the job in the circumstances in which it offered. To do so again, with a deeply unpopular Congress all but finished, could destroy any future chances he has of becoming prime minister.
In any event, with so many Congress members from the east unable to travel to Tripoli, it is unlikely that the 120 votes needed to appoint any new prime minister will be forthcoming. And with elections for the House of Representatives in16 day’s time, such a move would almost certainly be resented and rejected by the bulk of Libyans. [/restrict]