Ali Zeidan (sometimes written as Zidan; Arabic: علي زيدان; born 15 December 1950) is a Libyan politician and diplomat who is currently the Prime Minister of Libya. He was appointed by the General National Congress on 14 October 2012, and, on 31 October, the Congress approved his cabinet proposal. Prior to the Libyan civil war, Zeidan was a Geneva-based human rights lawyer and according to the BBC, is considered by some local observers as a strong-minded liberal. He took office on 14 November 2012.
Ali Zeidan served as a diplomat for Libya during the 1970s, serving in India under Ambassador Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf. Both men defected in 1980 and went on to form the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.
During the revolution Zeidan served as the National Transitional Council's Europe envoy, and is credited as having played a key role in persuading French President Nicolas Sarkozy to support the anti-Gaddafi forces.
Zeidan was elected as an independent for Jufra in the 2012 Congressional election, and was a strong contender for the position of Speaker of Congress for which Mohamed el-Magariaf was ultimately selected.
Following the unsuccessful attempt by Abushagur to form a government, Zeidan ran for the position of Prime Minister against the Justice and Construction Party's favoured candidate, Mohammed Al-Harari. Zeidan was elected Prime Minister-designate by the Congress by a vote of 93 to 85, with two weeks to submit his proposed new government for approval by Congress. Zeidan was reported to have been supported by members of Congress belonging to the generally liberal National Forces Alliance (organized by Mahmoud Jibril), as well as by certain independents informally affiliated as the Workers group (with 20 members) and the Southern group (with 31).
Zeidan was able to take over as Prime Minister from Abdurrahim El-Keib when the new cabinet was approved on 31 October 2012, amidst public protests concerning certain ministerial nominees' alleged links to the Gaddafi régime. Zeidan's cabinet avowedly aimed at geographical as well as political balance, including ministers from the National Forces Alliance, the Justice and Construction Party, and independents. The new government was sworn in on 14 November.
Zeidan was quoted as promising at his swearing-in that his government would abide by the Constitutional Declaration and "give its utmost best [sic] to the nation based on the rule of law, human rights, democracy, rights, and the belief in God, His Prophet and a state based on Islam".
- "Libya's national congress elects Ali Zidan as interim prime minister". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/14/libya-interim-prime-minister-ali-zidanf24efc680b8d_story.html. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Libya Congress elects former congressman and rights lawyer Ali Zeidan as new prime minister". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/libya-congress-elects-former-congressman-and-rights-lawyer-ali-zidan-as-new-prime-minister/2012/10/14/52504990-1634-11e2-a346-f24efc680b8d_story.html. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Libya Congress Elects Former Congressman and Rights Lawyer Ali Zidan as Prime Minister". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/turkey-barring-air-space-syrian-civilian-flights-17474422#.UHsYMW_AcbA. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Libyan parliament approves new government". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20152538. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Ali Zeidan, ex-Kadhafi opponent, elected Libya PM". AFP. 14 October 2012. http://www.afp.com/en/news/topstories/ali-zeidan-ex-kadhafi-opponent-elected-libya-pm. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Ali Zidan elected Libya's new prime minister". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19943593. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- George Grant (14 October 2012). "Ali Zidan elected Prime Minister". Libya Herald. http://www.libyaherald.com/?p=16205. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- George Grant (14 October 2012). "Congress race narrows to two". Libya Herald. http://www.libyaherald.com/?p=16185. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- George Grant (9 August 2012). "Ali Zidan leading Speaker’s race after first vote, but Magarief may still emerge victorious". Libya Herald. http://www.libyaherald.com/?p=12500. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Libyan legislators approve new cabinet". Al Jazeera English. 31 October 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/10/20121031221720888985.html. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Libya government sworn in". AFP. 14 November 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g_un7N0HMcoFNJClCOzPdczsxmTw?docId=CNG.5f5d4d61e54889235995304ae07eb89d.591. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- Sami Zaptia (14 November 2012). "Zeidan government sworn in". Libya Herald. http://www.libyaherald.com/2012/11/14/zeidan-government-sworn-in/. Retrieved 14 November 2012.