World Bulletin/News Desk
Libya's Supreme Court ruled on Monday that parliament's election of Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq a month ago was unconstitutional, state media reported, a decision which means his predecessor will stay on for now, a parliament speaker said.
OPEC producer Libya's government and parliament are struggling to impose authority on a country awash with arms and militias who ousted former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now defy state authority.
Maiteeq's appointment as head of Libya's interim government had followed a chaotic vote in parliament, which is divided, and some lawmakers and judicial experts disputed the outcome.
Outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, a career army officer who resigned in April, had refused to hand over power to Maiteeq after some lawmakers questioned the validity of the vote and said he would wait for a court decision.
"The ruling stated... the appointment of Mr Ahmed Maiteeq as premier of the interim government was unconstitutional," television reported.
There was no immediate reaction from Maiteeq, who was elected by independent and Muslim Brotherhood members , but parliament's second deputy speaker Salah Makhzoum told reporters lawmakers would respect the ruling.
Parliament will discuss the matter further on Tuesday.
Libya parliament, PM vow to respect court ruling
Libya's recently-elected Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and interim parliament on Monday said they would adhere to a court ruling nullifying the election of the premier by parliament last month.
"Parliament will adhere to the court verdict out of respect for the judiciary," Salah al-Makhzum, deputy speaker of the General National Congress, said at a press conference.
A business tycoon, Maiteeq was elected prime minister on May 4, triggering fierce debates inside the interim assembly about the legality of his candidacy.
"I respect the judiciary and I will be the first to obey the rulings of this judiciary," said the fresh-faced young businessman.
He described the court ruling as a "gain" of Libya's 2011 revolution, which ended the rule of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya has suffered ongoing political and security turmoil since the bloody 2011 uprising that ended Gaddafi's rule.
Some observers fear the country stands on the brink of civil war, with a renegade army general – Khalifa Haftar – declaring war against armed militias in eastern Libya and Islamists threatening to import fighters from other countries to fight the campaign against them.Last Mod: 09 Haziran 2014, 15:31