(Adds Maiteeq, other reaction, background)
* Parliamentary vote for Maiteeq unconstitutional -court
* Predecessor Al-Thinni to stay as caretaker premier
* Parliament to discuss way ahead on Tuesday
* Libya in disorder, oil ports still blocked
By Ahmed Elumami and Ulf Laessing
TRIPOLI, June 9 Libya's Supreme Court ruled on
Monday that parliament's election of Prime Minister Ahmed
Maiteeq a month ago was unconstitutional, a ruling that could
reduce volatile political tensions in the major OPEC member
It also raised hope that some oil ports occupied for 10
months by rebels in Libya's east will reopen. In April, rebels
signed an accord with the government of Maiteeq's predecessor
to unblock the vital Mediterranean ports but its implementation
stalled when they refused to deal with Maiteeq, a businessman.
Port rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran welcomed the Supreme Court
ruling, according to a statement.
Maiteeq said he would accept the court decision, which
reinstates Abdullah al-Thinni as caretaker premier, according to
parliament's deputy speaker.
Libya has had two premiers - Thinni and Maiteeq - with two
cabinets since the latter got elected in a chaotic vote by
parliament a month ago, compounding a sense of anarchy and drift
three years after the uprising that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi's one-man rule over 42 years left Libya without
credible governing institutions and security services to impose
state authority on ex-rebels and Islamist militants, who now use
armed muscle to carve out fiefdoms and make demands on Tripoli.
Thinni had originally resigned in April after what he said
was a shooting attack on his family home by militiamen, but then
refused to hand over power to Maiteeq pending a court decision.
"The ruling stated... the appointment of Mr Ahmed Maiteeq as
premier of the interim government was unconstitutional," state
television quoted the court as saying, without citing the legal
basis of its decision.
Parliament's second deputy speaker Salah Makhzoum told
reporters that lawmakers would respect the ruling.
"Abdullah Al-Thinni is the caretaker prime minister until
congress (parliament) learns the court's reasons for deciding
Maiteeq's election was unconstitutional." Parliament will
discuss the matter further on Tuesday, he said.
MAITEEQ ACCEPTS RULING
The General National Congress (GNC) is at the heart of a
growing confrontation among rival political parties and brigades
of former rebels who refuse to disarm and have allied themselves
loosely on competing sides of the polarised legislature.
Those rivalries approached open conflict last month after a
renegade former general, Khalifa Haftar, began a self-declared
campaign with irregular forces to purge Islamist militants he
says the central government in Tripoli has failed to challenge.
Fighters allied to Haftar stormed parliament briefly last
month, accusing lawmakers of having no legitimacy and serving
the interests of radical Islamists.
Maiteeq comes from Misrata, a western coastal city where the
Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is strong but faces strong
opposition in the east and in the western mountains.
In a brief statement Maiteeq said: "I do respect the rule of
the Supreme Court and I am the first one who complies with the
rule. What happened is devoted to the peaceful transfer of power
and the first winner is the Libyan people."
Libya badly needs a functioning government and the
reactivation of oil exports - the only notable source of state
revenue - to prevent a wholesale collapse of state authorities.
Tripoli has no budget because the protests at oil ports and
fields by militias and tribesmen making political and financial
demands have reduced crude output to less than 200,000 bpd from
1.4 million bpd in July before the strikes started.
Libya has lost $30 billion from the oil strikes, a central
bank official said last week.
(Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Mark Heinrich)