Pressing Issues Await Libya’s New PM
Libya’s newly-elected Prime Minister will face a number of pressing issues including the task of disarming the country, awash with weapons, and integrating the disparate and heavily armed militias that won the war into a professional army, as the UN warned against the proliferation of arms looted from Muammar Qaddafi’s huge stockpile.
Abdel Rahim al-Keib, the man elected early this week to lead the task of rebuilding Libya after eight months of conflict, is a little known technocrat who won the support of the country’s revolutionary council.
The hoped-for departure towards peaceful politics comes as NATO ended its military intervention in Libya which helped bring about the death of Muammar Qaddafi.
An academic and a wealthy businessman, Keib spent decades abroad as an opponent of Qaddafi, before quickly joining the pro-democracy revolution that erupted in February and finally triumphed on October 20.
His experience as a technocrat, his generous financial support for the National Transitional Council and the presentation he delivered to voting NTC members earlier Monday culminated in his election.
“The main aspects of his program were the stability of the country, of course, the security file and the military file, which will be under the control of the Interior Ministry,” said Fathi Baja, the NTC’s Head of political affairs, according to AFP.
“He also promised to provide for the basic needs of the Libyan people.”
Keib won 26 out of 51 votes to become Libya’s new Prime Minister, seeing off four rival candidates, notably interim Oil Minister Ali Tarhuni and Idriss Abu Fayed, a Qaddafi opponent who was jailed by the former regime. (Al Arabiya; AFP)