Times Colonist

Running start for Libyan PM


TRIPOLI — Abdurrahim ElKeib, pitched from academic obscurity to head Libya’s new government, set about selecting his cabinet Tuesday, hoping to rally the disparate groups that toppled Moammar Gadhafi behind a democratic peace.

After decades as a dissident in exile, working as a professor of electrical engineerin­g, Keib’s family background in Tripoli and his long spells living in both the U.S. and the Gulf were still being pored over by analysts for clues to his surprise election by the interim ruling council.

Observers said Keib’s lack of past service under Gadhafi, in contrast to National Transition­al Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil and others, and his presence in Libya during most of this year’s fighting, in contrast to the outgoing wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, may boost his legitimacy as the government tries to organize elections.

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