Libya profile

Chairman of the General National Congress: Nuri Abu Sahmein

Nuri Abu Sahmein Nuri Abu Sahmein is the first Berber to hold the post

Libya's interim parliament elected Nuri Abu Sahmein as its chairman, and therefore de facto head of state, in June 2013, following the resignation of Mohamed al-Magarief.

Mr Al-Magarief had been elected to head the General National Congress a year earlier, but he stepped down when parliament approved a law debarring officials of the Gaddafi period from office. He had served as ambassador to India in the 1980s.

Mr Abu Sahmein is an independent MP from western Libya and, significantly, a member of the Berber ethnic minority that suffered discrimination under Col Gaddafi's rule.

The 200-seat Congress, elected in July 2012 in the country's first free polls in decades, saw liberal, secular and independent candidates outflank the Muslim-Brotherhood-aligned Justice and Construction Party.

Parliament chose Mr Abu Sahmein to serve as Libya's interim head of state pending fresh elections. These were originally due to be held towards the end of 2013, but have now been scheduled for 25 June 2014.

More on This Story

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

  • RihannaCloud caution

    After celebrity leaks, what can you do to safeguard your photos?


  • Cesc FabregasFair price?

    Have some football clubs overpaid for their new players?


  • Woman and hairdryerBlow back

    Would banning high-power appliances actually save energy?


  • Rack of lambFavourite feast

    Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?


  • Members of staff at James Stevenson Flags hold a Union Jack and Saltire flag UK minus Scotland

    Does the rest of the UK care if the Scots become independent?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.