Libya Standoff Emerges as Premier Refuses to Yield to Successor

'Acting PM' Claims Incoming PM's Election Illegal

They had very little power to begin with, and even less since Gen. Khalifa Hifter took over their parliament building, but Libya’s parliament is still hard at work, fighting internally over who the real prime minister is.

Ahmed Maiteeq, elected weeks ago, was supposed to officially be installed as premier this week, but the “acting prime minister,” Abdullah al-Thinni, is refusing to hand over power, claiming Maiteeq’s election was illegal.

Ali Zaidan was Libya’s prime minister for quite some time, and Thinni was given the position during the fiasco with the Morning Glory, an oil tanker that escaped from Navy custody. Thinni resigned almost immediately, citing threats to his family, and Maiteeq was finally settled on.

Maiteeq is backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, and his perceived pro-Islamist slant was a big part of Gen. Hifter’s reason for attacking parliament. Thinni, by contrast, is said to enjoy support from the Interior Ministry, but continues to insist he doesn’t even really want the job, despite refusing to turn the post over to Maiteeq.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.