Bashagha's appointment as PM 'dubious', says ECFR analyst

'Only president can appoint PM, speaker Saleh pushed it through'

18 February, 13:22

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, FEB 18 - Tarek Megerisi, an expert on Libyan affairs, wrote in a piece for the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) detailing problems with the appointment of Fathi Bashagha as prime minister of Libya.

    "On 10 February, almost 50 days after Libya was scheduled to hold a general election, a new 'prime minister' held a press conference upon his arrival in Tripoli. There was only one problem: he had not actually been elected, as the vote never happened," Megerisi noted.

    He added that "the process was fraught with improprieties.

    The idea was fundamentally flawed given that, legally, it is the president who appoints the prime minister. And potential candidates for the role were forcibly prevented from travelling to Tobruk (where the parliament is based) to submit their applications. Saleh announced just minutes before the vote that Khaled Bibas, Bashagha's sole competitor, was withdrawing from the race - a claim Bibas denied. Finally, the vote itself was over in seconds, with Saleh arguing that there had been unanimous support for Bashagha. The votes were never counted.

    And there was no guarantee of a quorum, as MPs reportedly left the session as the vote was called." (ANSAmed).

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