Libya’s Pro-NATO Coalition Cut Out of Cabinet

PM Says Cabinet Aims for 'Geographical Balance'

Libya’s pro-NATO National Forces Alliance (NFA) won the largest plurality of any faction in the parliamentary election, 39 seats out of the 80 possible for party candidates. The win was trumpeted as a big move toward a secular, pro-West regime at the time.

In the end though, the NFA has found itself cut entirely out of the incoming cabinet, even though they are nominally part of the “grand coalition government.” They are reporting they were not given a single cabinet post out of more than 20 portfolios up for grabs.

The NFA was led by former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, and had demanded at least nine of the cabinet positions before learning they weren’t given a single one. It is unclear who the new ministers are yet, but the current prime minister says they were picked for a “geographical balance.”

The NFA’s lack of post-election influence reflects the unusual system of elections in Libya, where only 80 seats are even potentially available for members of political parties and the other 120 are set aside for independent candidates. Though the NFA has more seats than any other parties, the independents are seen as more friendly by and large toward the religious blocs.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of