Libya's new Prime Minister sworn into office despite Congress rejection
Libya’s first deputy parliamentary speaker has declared the election of Ahmed Maiteeq as the new prime minister of the North African country invalid.
Ezzedin al-Awami said in a letter to the government that Maiteeq had failed to obtain the necessary quorum during a parliamentary vote earlier on Sunday.
He also wrote that the government of former Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, who stepped down three weeks ago, would stay in office until a successor is elected legally.
Initially, only 113 lawmakers voted for Maiteeq on Sunday, falling short of the 120 votes necessary to secure his win.
After a stormy session and disagreements among the lawmakers following the vote, the session was adjourned. But Libyan TV station al-Ahrar reported that voting resumed and Maiteeq secured eight new votes.
Opponents charged that some of the secured votes came from lawmakers who were not there.
Al-Sharif al-Wafi, an independent lawmaker from Benghazi, said the swearing-in was unconstitutional and defied democratic principles.
He said the second deputy of parliament Saleh al-Makhzoum, continued the session after Awami had adjourned the session following the vote and ensuing chaos.
"Authority in Libya has been seized," Wafi told a news conference in the capital, Tripoli.
But Mahmoud Salama al-Ghiryani, a lawmaker and supporter of Maiteeq, said the adjourning of the session was not legal and that most of the members in the house were against it.
"It was legitimate to continue the voting," he said.
Libya has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups, who played a key role in the 2011 popular uprising that toppled former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Nearly three years after the fall of Gaddafi, the country is still grappling with rising insecurity.
The former rebels refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.
Thousands of angry Libyan demonstrators have recently taken to the streets in different cities to protest against lack of security across the North African country.