Abu Shagur Elected New Libyan PM after Attack
The interim Deputy Prime Minister of Libya, Mustafa Abu Shagur, was elected Prime Minister by Libya’s General National Congress on Wednesday, just hours after the American consulate in Benghazi was overrun and four Americans were killed. Abu Shagur narrowly edged out interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril in the second round of voting after none of the eight PM candidates won a majority of the 190 votes in the first round.
Abushagur’s victory came as somewhat of a surprise in the face of strong challenges from both Jibril and the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party, Awad Barasi. The Libya Herald reported that the election represents “yet again the rejection of the Brotherhood” in Libya, following their meager showing in the Congressional elections last July. Abu Shagur ran as a technocratic reformer, pledging “to build roads, create public transport systems, and review all existing contracts worth $109 billion signed under the Qaddafi regime.”
Abu Shagur used Twitter to “condemn the cowardly act of attacking the US consulate and the killing of Mr Stevens and the other diplomats,” referring to the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the siege a “senseless act of violence,” but confirmed that the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Libya “will not be another casualty of this attack.”
In another announcement yesterday, Libyan academic Tarek Mitri was appointed as the next Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Mitri will take over U.N. operations in Libya next month.