Libya High Court Rules PM’s Election Unconstitutional

Insists Interim PM Remains in Power

In the middle of a coup d’etat and what seems to be a growing civil war, Libya’s parliament couldn’t possibly be more divided. Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq’s status is in further doubt today, as the Libyan Supreme Court declared his election “unconstitutional.”

Maiteeq was the third prime minister Libya had in just two months, after Premier Ali Zeidan lost a no-confidence vote and his replacement, interim PM Abdullah Thinni, insisted he didn’t want the position.

But Maiteeq’s election after weeks of stalemate came at a chaotic time, and Thinni refused to hand over the office officially to him for weeks, insisting his election wasn’t legal. Finally Maiteeq’s supporters simply bypassed him and declared Maiteeq the PM. The court seems to have agreed with Thinni, and put him back in power.

Or what passes for power in Libya. Parliament barely even exits to begin with at this point, after Gen. Khalifa Hifter declared it dissolved in his coup attempt. Hifter-backed forces, including much of the military, continue to attack rival militias, many of which are loyal to parliament.

Whichever side ends up winning, Libya’s government continues to hemorrhage money as its oil exports grind to a halt.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.