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Libya parliament to vote in new prime minister

Ahmed El Metig and Omas Al Hassy will go head to head in the General National Congress’s second round of voting.

Staff Reporter
4 May 2014, 9:25am
After clashes hit Libya's congress during two previous rounds of voting, Libya is set to choose its prime minister.
After clashes hit Libya's congress during two previous rounds of voting, Libya is set to choose its prime minister.
Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) is set to undertake its final vote for a new prime minister, after clashes hit the country's parliament building in Tripoli during two previous rounds of voting.

Libya is currently run by an interim government led by acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni after the sacking of former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan last March.

The elections were called after Thinni refused to continue in office.

He offered to resign on April 13, saying he and his family came under a savage attack the night before in their residence and he could no longer put innocent people's lives at risk.

The first round of voting last week included nine candidates. Businessman Ahmed El Metig and Omar Al Hassy, a lawyer, are the front-runners and will go head to head in a second round.

"We are living in chaos. I don't care who wins, he must rebuild the army and police. There is no way we can develop the country without first creating stability in the streets," said Hamid Ben Ashour, Tripoli resident.

The second round of voting was postponed twice after fighters attacked the GNC building during each vote.

Several security guards were injured and some members of the GNC accused supporters of Hassy for the attacks but he has denied this.

"We don't want the country to be rebuilt using weapons. This is not my way. My career says it all. I am a lawyer and a university teacher, I preach peaceful coexistence and democracy. I have nothing to do with these incidents," he said.

Electoral law requires the candidate garner at least 120 out of the 200 votes. Analysts said it is hard to achieve such a consensus.

If the GNC fail to elect an outright winner, the interim government will be given more power and asked to continue permanently.

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