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Ali Zeidan (sometimes written as Zidan; Arabic: علي زيدان‎; born 1950) is a former Prime Minister of Libya. He was appointed by the General National Congress on 14 October 2012, and took office on 14 November after Congress approved his cabinet nominees.[2][3] Prior to the Libyan Civil War, Zeidan was a Geneva-based human rights lawyer[4] and according to the BBC, he is considered by some local observers as a strong-minded liberal.[5] He was ousted by the parliament committee and fled from Libya on 14 March 2014.[6] However, he told the press conference in Rabat, Morocco, that the ousting was invalid.[7]

Ali Zeidan
علي زيدان
Ali Zeidan at US State Department 2013.png
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
14 November 2012 – 11 March 2014
PresidentMohammed Magariaf
Juma Ahmad Atigha (Acting)
Nouri Abusahmain
Preceded byAbdurrahim El-Keib
Succeeded byAbdullah al-Thani
Personal details
Born1950 (age 68–69)
Waddan, Fezzan-Ghadamès (now Libya)
Political partyNational Party For Development and Welfare
Alma materJawaharlal Nehru University
ReligionSunni Islam



Zedan during the World Economic Forum 2013

Ali Zeidan served as a diplomat for Libya during the 1970s, serving in India under Ambassador Mohammed Magariaf.[8] Both men defected in 1980 and went on to form the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.[9] Zeidan spent nearly three decades in exile in Geneva after the defection.[10]

During the revolution, Zeidan served as the National Transitional Council's Europe envoy, and is credited for playing a key role in persuading French President Nicolas Sarkozy to support the anti-Gaddafi forces.[5]


On 7 July 2012, Zeidan was elected as an independent congressman for Jufra in the 2012 Congressional election.[11] He ran for the position of Speaker of the Congress, but ultimately lost out to his former opposition colleague Mohammed Magariaf, obtaining 85 votes.[12] On 10 October 2012, Zeidan resigned his seat in Congress.

Prime MinisterEdit

Following Mustafa Abushagur's unsuccessful attempt to form a government, Zeidan resigned his seat in Congress and ran for the position of Prime Minister against the Justice and Construction Party's favoured candidate, Mohammed Al-Harari.[13] Zeidan was elected Prime Minister-designate by a vote of 93 to 85,[9] with two weeks to submit his proposed new government for approval by Congress.[5] 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).[9]

Zeidan's cabinet was approved by Congress on 31 October 2012, although six of its members were referred for investigation into alleged links to the former Gaddafi regime.[14] All six were subsequently cleared of the charges[15][16] and Zeidan's government was sworn in on 14 November.[17] 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.[14]

Zeidan was quoted as promising at his swearing-in that his government would abide by the Constitutional Declaration and "give its utmost best 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".[18]



Zeidan was kidnapped by armed militants from the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli during the early morning of 10 October 2013 and taken to an undisclosed location.[19][20]

The group Joint Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries said they abducted Zeidan as a reaction to his government's alleged involvement in the American capture of Anas al-Liby,[21] and his statements in late September calling for international assistance in building an official army and police force.[22]

Zeidan was freed hours later.[23]


Zeidan was kidnapped again on August 14, 2017, by an armed group, being taken from a hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.[24][25] On 22 August, he was released without any reasons given by his kidnappers after being held for ten days in Tripoli and was taken near to Mehary Radisson Blu hotel.[26]


On 11 March 2014, the rogue oil tanker Morning Glory left the rebel port of Sidra, Libya, with Libyan oil that had been confiscated by the rebels. Ali Zeidan had promised to stop the departure, but failed.[27] The same day, Zeidan was reported to have been ousted by the parliament committee and then to have fled to Europe, although fleeing the country was banned for him.[28] However, he told the press conference in Rabat, Morocco, that the ousting was invalid.[7]

Alleged flight to MaltaEdit

On 8 June 2014, the Maltese government denied a Maltese blogger's claim that Ali Zeidan was residing in Malta, under the protection of the Maltese government.[29][30]


  1. ^ [ "ليبيا.. فرار علي زيدان إلى ألمانيا" (in Arabic). Sky News Arabia. 11 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Libya Congress elects former congressman and rights lawyer Ali Zeidan as new prime minister". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  3. ^ Zaptia, Sami (14 November 2012). "Zeidan government sworn in". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Ali Zeidan, ex-Kadhafi opponent, elected Libya PM". AFP. 14 October 2012. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Ali Zidan elected Libya's new prime minister". BBC News. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Libya ex-PM Zeidan 'leaves country despite travel ban'". =BBC. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Libya's ousted PM calls his removal invalid". 15 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  8. ^ "New Libyan PM Ali Zeidan has strong India links". The Indian Express. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  9. ^ a b c George Grant (14 October 2012). "Ali Zidan elected Prime Minister". Libya Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Ali Zeidan, ex-Qaddafi opponent, elected as Libya's PM". Al Arabiya. Tripoli. AFP. 14 October 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  11. ^ George Grant (14 October 2012). "Congress race narrows to two". Libya Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  12. ^ George Grant (9 August 2012). "Ali Zidan leading Speaker's race after first vote, but Magarief may still emerge victorious". Libya Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Zidan to resign from Congress to run for premiership?". Libya Herald. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Libyan legislators approve new cabinet". Al Jazeera English. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  15. ^ Cousins, Michel (13 November 2012). "Four Zeidan cabinet ministers disbarred". Libya Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  16. ^ Grant, George (27 November 2012). "Integrity Commission clears three more ministers, including Foreign Minister Aujali". Libya Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Libya government sworn in". AFP. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  18. ^ Sami Zaptia (14 November 2012). "Zeidan government sworn in". Libya Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Armed rebels escort Libyan PM to undisclosed location". CNN. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Rebels kidnap Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, take him to undisclosed location 'respectfully'". Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  21. ^ Gerry Mullany (10 October 2013): Gunmen Seize Libyan Prime Minister in Raid New York Times
  22. ^[permanent dead link] Retrieved 10 October 2013
  23. ^ "Libyan PM Ali Zidan briefly held by gunmen in Tripoli". CBS News. 10 October 2013.
  24. ^ "Former premier Ali Zeidan seized in Tripoli". Libya Herald. 14 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Gunmen kidnap former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan". Al Arabiya. 14 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Zeidan gives account of his abduction". Libya Herald. 25 August 2017.
  27. ^ David D Kirkpatrick (17 March 2014). "U.S. Navy SEALs Take Control of Diverted Oil Tanker". New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Libya ex-PM Zeidan 'leaves country despite travel ban'". BBC. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  29. ^ "The man hiding out under heavily armed guard at L-Ambjent in Xemxija is Ali Zeidan, Libya's ex prime minister". 8 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  30. ^ Piscopo, James J. (8 June 2014). "Government denies reports that Ali Zeidan is residing in Malta". Malta Today. Retrieved 6 April 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Ali Zeidan at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Abdurrahim El-Keib
Prime Minister of Libya
Succeeded by
Abdullah al-Thani