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26 Jun 2013 12:21 pm
Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain elected Congress President

Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain elected Congress President

Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain has been elected President of Libya’s General National Congress. He succeeds Mohamed Magarief who resigned last month ahead of the Political Isolation Law coming into effect.

In the second, run-off ballot this afternoon, Abu Sahmain won 96 votes compared to 80 for Sharif Al-Wafi Muhamed. Eight members abstained.

In the first round, Abu Sahmain, scored 73 votes while Al-Wafi won 60.

The result is seen to confirm the strength of the Justice and Construction Party, which backed Abu Sahmain. Although an independent, he is a member of the Martyrs’ Loyalty Block in Congress. However, before his election, he said he would resign from the block so as to be able to represent all Libyans.

“I hope to be able to run the Congress as required and this was their decision,” he told the Libya Herald after his election, adding that he would work hard in Libya’s interests. He also said that he would be keeping up the pressure on the government to ensure it performed it job efficiently.

Representing the town of  Zuara near the border with Tunisia, he is the first member of minority Amazeigh community to achieve a leadership role in Libya since Sulaiman Barouni becaome the President of the short-lived Tripolitanian Republic in 1919.

It had been widely expected that the post would go to a Congressman from the east of the country.

This evening Mohamed Magarief Tweeted his congratulations, saying: “ I extend to my brother, Nuri Abu Sahmain, head of the National Congress sincere congratulations on the confidence of Congress and I pray to God to sees his way to what is good for the country and the people