Libya Congress confirms new PM Ahmed Maiteg

Ahmed Maiteg on National Libyan TV on 4 May Ahmed Maiteg is Libya's fifth prime minister to be appointed in the past two and a half years

Libya's interim parliament has confirmed the appointment of Ahmed Maiteg as the new prime minister.

The General National Congress elected the businessman in a televised vote on Sunday, and he was sworn in.

But acting Congress chairman Ezzedine Al-Amawi later declared the ballot illegal after a row over the procedure.

On Monday, a decree signed by the head of Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmein - who was absent on Sunday - named Mr Maiteg as interim prime minister.

Mr Maiteg, 42, is the country's fifth PM to be appointed in the past two and a half years.

His predecessor, Abdullah al-Thinni, quit last month following a gun attack on his family.

Libya has been plagued by instability since armed groups toppled Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

Controversy

Mr Maiteg, from Misrata, will have two weeks to propose a cabinet, which will need to be approved by the Congress.

Members of the special body tasked to draft a new constitution for Libya and members of the General National Congress gather during the body's first meeting in Bayda on 21 April 2014. Elections for a new parliament are expected later this year to replace the General National Congress

This may prove to be a difficult task following the controversy over his appointment, says the BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli.

Some deputies had claimed the vote on Sunday was illegal, arguing that it continued after Mr Amawi had declared the session over. Other members argued that no laws were violated.

Mr Amawi said it was unconstitutional and ordered Libya's caretaker PM, Mr Thinni, to remain in power.

But the new appointment was ratified on Monday in a decree signed by Mr Sahmein on his return to parliament.

Mr Maiteg had clinched 121 votes in the 185-seat chamber - just exceeding the 120 required, the ruling said.

The latest quarrel in Congress is rooted in political and ideological splits between powerful party blocs within the legislative body, our correspondent says.

The vote was originally scheduled to take place last Tuesday, but it was interrupted when gunmen stormed the parliament, forcing the deputies to evacuate. The building has been stormed several times by gunmen over the last year and a half.

Elections for a new parliament that will replace the General National Congress are expected later this year, and a new cabinet is expected to be formed.

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