Libya’s New PM Faces Old Problems

The election of a new PM has done little to defuse Libyan political tensions. Despite a conciliatory approach, negotiations to open eastern terminals may fail.

Libya’s parliament on 4 May elected Ahmad Maiteeq as the troubled country’s fifth Prime Minister since the 2011 overthrow of Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi. The vote was immediately contested, but seems likely to stand.

Mr Maiteeq, a businessman from Libya’s third largest city Misrata, gave a televised speech the following day, in which he pledged to “improve state control and sovereignty, rebuild security and military institutions.”

Tripoli has failed to impose control in a country where real power rests with various militia and tribal groups that refused to disarm after the 2011 revolution. Aware of his precarious position, the Prime Minister struck a conciliatory tone, calling for “national reconciliation” and promising to “decentralize” the government by giving regional communities a say in their economic affairs. (CONTINUED - 1003 WORDS)