* Parliament's election of Maiteeq unconstitutional court
* Predecessor Al-Thinni to stay caretaker prime minister
* Parliament will discuss on Tuesday
(Adds parliament's reaction)
TRIPOLI, June 9 Libya's Supreme Court ruled on
Monday that parliament's election of Prime Minister Ahmed
Maiteeq a month ago was unconstitutional, state media reported,
a decision which means his predecessor will stay on for now, a
parliament speaker said.
OPEC producer Libya's government and parliament are
struggling to impose authority on a country awash with arms and
militias who ousted former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but
now defy state authority.
Maiteeq's appointment as head of Libya's interim government
had followed a chaotic vote in parliament, which is divided
between Islamists and more moderate forces as well as along
tribal and regional lines, and some lawmakers and judicial
experts disputed the outcome.
Outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, a career army
officer who resigned in April, had refused to hand over power to
Maiteeq after some lawmakers questioned the validity of the vote
and said he would wait for a court decision.
"The ruling stated... the appointment of Mr Ahmed Maiteeq as
premier of the interim government was unconstitutional,"
There was no immediate reaction from Maiteeq, who was
elected by independent and Muslim Brother Islamists, but
parliament's second deputy speaker Salah Makhzoum told reporters
lawmakers would respect the ruling.
"From this moment ... Abdullah Al-Thinni is the caretaker
prime minister until Congress (parliament) learns the court's
reasons for deciding that Maiteeq's election was
unconstitutional," he said.
Parliament will discuss the matter further on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Ahmed Elumami; Editing by