Libya’s interim government in crisis

By Tamar Gilevitch

BBC News, Libya

The long drawn-out campaign for Libya’s interim government has moved to another stage.

It has been agreed that the National Transitional Council (NTC) will succeed the deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi and other top officials.

But the current head of the government, Abdullah al-Thinni, will not stand again.

Ahead of the announcement on Thursday he met Hassan Nouri, head of Libya’s Economic and Financial National Council, to discuss the crisis.

This is part of a delicate game of cat and mouse going on in Tripoli.

The NTC has been scrambling to find Mr Thinni’s replacement.

Finding someone acceptable to NTC members is not as easy as one might think.

Libya’s new leaders have decreed that any leader should be elected in a series of votes.

But that is a huge bureaucratic challenge.

The last thing the rebels want is a one-man show, which could alienate other members of the council.

A spokesman for the interim government, Khaled Arraj, told BBC News: “I think if there’s no consensus on a candidate then Mr Thinni will not succeed next month.”

Political vacuum

The divisions have been playing out in public, with the government issuing public statements in an attempt to manage the crisis.

The interim government was supposed to lead Libya to democracy.

But even before Mr Thinni resigned, Tripoli had been hit by a political vacuum.

Organisations aligned with the revolutionary committee, including tribal groups, have refused to accept the NTC as the legitimate government.

So the NTC has been having to try to work with them.

And of course the new caretaker prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, must be seen to do the job he has been asked to do.

Leave a Comment