21 November 2012

Libya: New Libyan Prime Minister, President Set to Meet

Tripoli — Following Libya's peaceful transition of power, Ali Zidan and Mohamed Magarief will discuss needs of the country.

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan will meet with General National Congress (GNC) President Mohamed Magarief on Wednesday (November 21st). The talks will be the first between the two since the historic transfer of power on Sunday.

Items on the agenda include mechanisms for co-operation between the two leaders, replacement and selection of ministers, as well as what the new Libyan prime minister would like to delegate to his deputies, GNC spokesman Omar Humaidan said.

"The GNC will adopt a mechanism for drafting the Constitution using various ideas drawn from Libyans themselves," he stated.

He explained the mechanism is starting to become clear and recommended a month of discussions and academic debates, after which it will be put to a vote.

With regard to constitutional appeals, he said that the crucial question was whether Libyans want to elect the members of the commission or want them appointed.

An issue Zidan and the GNC will also focus on right away includes suspended local elections.

Humaidan explained that a resolution was approved to temporarily suspend them in order to preserve social peace and security. Also the election committees do not determine their own geographical territory and the GNC considered it a clear encroachment on the legislature.

"No region should decide its own administrative scope," he said in defending their legal basis for doing their decision.

He emphasised that the new administrative system is decentralised and will give clear scope to cities while the government will retain the management of some key ministries. Once a constitution is in place, the GNC and Zidan will restore local elections.

The GNC discussed Tuesday the mechanism for drafting the Constitution as well as the 60-person committee, which was supposed to write. The committee will consist of 20 members representing Tripoli, 20 representing Cyrenaica, and 20 from Fezzan in the south.

Also to be considered was the process of replacing MPs whose memberships were dropped from the GNC as well as the procedure of action of parliamentary committees and their performance.

Outgoing Prime Minister Abdurrahim El Keib expressed his faith in the newly elected government and the transfer of power and the new government.

"The transfer of executive power is taking place for the first time in our country. We are used to rulers who leave office either dead or exiled," the outgoing premier said.

"Happy moments are when we meet to transfer power," he stated. Others in Libya shared in El Keib's optimism.

"We feel that we are now moving from the revolution to the state and this makes us feel like the first building blocks of the state are in place. This will push the country to stability and push foreign companies to come to Libya and start implementing construction and development projects," journalist Miftah Belaid stated.

"This is the first time I have seen the transfer of power in my life. I consider this a step towards achieving progress for a civic life of the Libyan state," university student Ali Abdel Salam said.

Humaidan highlighted that the new administrative system is decentralised and will give clear scope to cities while the government will retain the management of some key ministries.

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