The installation of Abdurrahim al-Keib as the new Libyan interim prime minister on Monday by the National Transitional Council (NTC) only underscored the unstable, faction-ridden character of the regime and its subservience to the US and European powers.
The “election” itself was carefully staged to give the appearance of democracy—NTC members deposited their ballots into a transparent box in a nationally-televised session. This charade could not hide the fact that the Libyan people had no say in selecting the NTC, which is dominated by ex-Gaddafi officials and the long-time assets of Western intelligence agencies.
Al-Keib’s main qualification for office was his acceptability to the NATO powers, which formally ended their predatory war on Libya at midnight on Monday. A relatively obscure figure, Al-Keib has been variously described as an academic, a wealthy businessman and “a scion” of a nationalist family from Tripoli’s old city.
Trained as an electrical engineer, Al-Keib spent nearly four decades abroad, mainly in the US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Significantly, he was recently a professor at the UAE’s Petroleum Institute—a private body funded by major global energy corporations, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total.