A coalition of 60 parties the National Forces Alliance led by U.S. trained Mahmoud Jibril has a wide lead in polls so far after Libya's recent elections. Mahmoud was former interim prime minister.
Jibril is winning the majority of votes not only in the capital Tripoli but also in the eastern city of Benghazi indicating that his support is widespread. Recent tallies from the High National Election Commission have Jibril winning 55 per cent of the vote in Tripoli and even more at 68 per cent in Benghazi and the surrounding area.
Jibril's alliance appears to be coasting to a clear victory over the well-financed and well-organized Muslim Brotherhood, a group that did quite well in Egyptian elections. The group associated with the Libyan Fighting Group leader Abdelhakim Belhadj is also far behind Jibril's alliance.
Jibril himself is barred from running as a candidate because of his position in the interim government. Jibril is western-educated and a management consultant. Jibril held important positions in the Gaddafi regime. He was head of the National Development Board and of the National Planning Council from 2007 to 2011. While in these positions he promoted privatization and liberalization. These policies are precisely those favored by western investors.
Jibril did post graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 1978. He wrote a doctoral thesis with the title “Imagery and Ideology in U.S. Policy Toward Libya, 1969-1982” He was later to work as a consultant to Arab governments. No doubt Jibril's western training, his economic views, and his experience as a consultant to Arab governments helped him to gain western support for the Libyan revolution and also support for him as interim prime minister.
As interim prime minister Jibril was often out of the country a fact that led to criticism of him by some within Libya. However Blake Hounshell of Foreign Policy Magazine said:
“He suffered unfairly in public opinion for always being outside of Libya. That war would not have happened without Mahmoud Jibril being able to look Hillary Clinton in the eye and saying, ‘We are serious people, we are not a bunch of wild-eyed radicals,’” No doubt many in Washington and elsewhere are quite happy to see Jibril's coalition winning in Libya and hope that he will be at least the king maker if not the king. For more see this article.