Libyan new PM takes office after storming gov’t building

TRIPOLI, June 3 (PNA/Xinhua) — Libya’s new Prime Minister Ahmed Maitiq, along with his ministers, announced to take office on Monday evening, after a group of gunmen stormed the government compound and cleared the way for him.

Maitiq made a statement saying his cabinet has began working, despite that his predecessor Abdullah Thinni refused to transfer the power. Maitiq’s eighteen ministers were also presented at a press conference.

Earlier in the evening, a group of gunmen stormed the Libyan government compound, demanding to transfer power to Maitiq, according to a security source.

Dozens of militants driving vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft gun dashed into the east gate of the government compound and asked the guards to hand over the building to Maitiq, the source said.

The militants did not fire a single shot. They instead negotiated with the guards and handed them Maitiq’s assignment letter endorsed by the parliament before taking over the building.

Maitiq, a businessman from Libya’s third largest city of Misrata, was sworn in as prime minister last month, but he was immediately challenged by his predecessor Abdullah Thinni and some other politicians.

Thinni called the parliamentary vote that elected Maitiq invalid and has since refused to transfer power to Maitiq.

Analysts said that Libya technically has three prime ministers at the moment — Maitiq, Thinni and Ali Zeidan, the last of whom was ousted by the parliament in March but still claims his legitimacy.

The Libyan parliament has been stuck in a deadlock between different interest groups since the 2011 popular protests that toppled the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi. (PNA/Xinhua)