Letrasto.com – In an unexpected turn of events, Mohammed Tekalla has become the new President of the Libyan State Council after winning internal elections against Khalid Al-Mashri, who had held the council’s presidency for 5 years since 2018.
Libyan political analysts are examining the implications of this “surprising” outcome and its effects on the fate of the roadmap agreed upon by the State Council and the House of Representatives regarding the formation of a new government and election laws after Al-Mashri’s departure.
In the first round of voting, Al-Mashri received 49 votes while Tekalla received 39 out of a total of 129 votes. Candidate Naima Al-Hami received 4 votes, and candidate Nagi Mukhtar received 36 votes. Two members cast blank ballots. In the second round, Tekalla received 67 votes compared to Al-Mashri’s 62 votes.
The State Council presidency bureau is elected annually. It consists of a president, a first deputy representing the southern region, a second deputy representing the eastern region, and the council’s rapporteur and president from the western region, in accordance with the State Council’s internal regulations.
Libya is administratively divided into three regions or provinces: Tripoli in the west, Benghazi in the east, and Fezzan in the south.
Tekalla’s Political Journey
Mohammed Miftah Mohammed Tekalla was born in 1966. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Network Engineering from the Budapest University of Technology in Hungary and worked as a computer maintenance engineer at the Bida Cement Factory in 1986. He pursued an academic career, starting as a teaching assistant and eventually becoming the dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Al-Merqab University.
His political career began in October 2011 after the wide-scale protests that led to the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. He worked as a member of the local council in Al-Khums city. In 2012, he became a member of the General National Congress that governed the country at that time.
In 2016, he joined the State Council, an advisory body, and was a member of its dialogue committee. He was also part of the Libyan National Dialogue Forum formed in 2020 to address the political division crisis in the country.
There were rumors that Tekalla received support from close circles of the outgoing Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, to win against Al-Mashri. Al-Mashri had supported the formation of a new unified government, which Dbeibah opposed. According to sources speaking to “Sky News Arabia,” Dbeibah rejected this approach.
Al-Mashri criticized Dbeibah’s actions in the past, aligned with the House of Representatives in terms of the roadmap leading to elections. Meanwhile, Dbeibah’s recent government meeting indicated his rejection of forming a new government or a new transitional phase before the elections.
Dbeibah has refused to relinquish power since February 2022, the date when the House of Representatives elected a new government led by Fathi Bashagha. He insists on holding elections first and faces accusations of attempting to sabotage any steps leading to elections.
However, the victory does not fully align with Dbeibah’s plans, as noted by former Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Al-Saghayir.
This is due to Tekalla’s ability to reverse the steps taken by Al-Mashri regarding approving the formation of a new government and agreeing with the House of Representatives on the electoral roadmap. Tekalla’s win came with only a five-vote difference, indicating that a significant bloc still supports Al-Mashri and opposes Dbeibah’s intentions.
Nonetheless, Al-Mashri’s loss is a significant and unexpected outcome, according to political researcher Mohammed Qashoot.
In his opinion, this loss is partly attributed to the support Dbeibah receives from Islamist factions, especially the terrorist-affiliated Muslim Brotherhood’s leader in Libya, Sadiq Al-Ghariani. These factions succeeded in toppling Al-Mashri and his supporters.
Al-Mashri had attempted to adapt to local and regional changes, such as the converging viewpoints between the Egyptian and Turkish governments. Meanwhile, Dbeibah focuses on thwarting any agreement between the House of Representatives and the State Council, as stated by Qashoot.