Monday, February 6, 2023

Libya talks progress towards new interim government: UN | Election News

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UN envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams said peace conference participants reached an interim leadership deal ahead of the elections.

A Libyan political dialogue hosted by the United Nations has made progress towards an agreement on a new transitional government to oversee preparations for the December elections.

Participants in the UN-brokered talks in Geneva agreed on a mechanism for choosing the new government, the formation of which has been the subject of feuds between the main factions of the war-torn country.

UN Interim Envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams told a press conference on Saturday that members of the advisory committee “have assumed their responsibilities with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts and a lot of patriotism” .

The committee is part of a 75-member forum that represents the three main regions of Libya.

The 18-member committee proposed that the electoral body for each region appoint a representative to a three-member presidential council, Williams said. A prime minister would be chosen by the 75-member forum, with the successful candidate receiving 70% of the vote.

Envoy Stephanie Williams attends talks between rival Libyan factions at UN in Geneva [File: Fabrice Coffrini via Reuters]

Monday vote

Williams said, according to the mechanism, that the forum would first receive candidate lists from Libya’s three regions, each made up of four names nominated for the presidential council and prime minister.

She said a list is expected to get 17 approvals: eight from the western region, six from the eastern region and three from southern Libya.

The lists would be reduced, with the winning candidates being those who get 60% of the votes of the 75-member forum in the first round. A second round of voting will take place if no clear winner emerges from the first round.

Williams said the forum will vote on the proposed mechanism on Monday and the results are expected the next day.

The transitional government would be “a temporary unified executive made up of Libyan patriots who want to share responsibilities rather than share the pie,” said the acting UN envoy.

The United States welcomed the breakthrough and urged all Libyan parties “to work urgently and in good faith” to establish an interim government, according to a statement from the US embassy in Libya.

“It is time to overcome the conflict and corruption facilitated by the status quo,” he said.

Unstable coalitions

The forum is part of the UN’s efforts to end the chaos that ravaged the oil-rich North African nation after the overthrow and murder in 2011 of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. He reached an agreement last year to hold presidential and legislative elections on December 24, 2021.

Libya has been divided since 2014 between rival factions in Tripoli in the west and Benghazi in the east.

The internationally recognized Tripoli National Accord Government (GNA) is backed by Turkey, while the renegade Commander Khalifa Haftar’s east-based Libyan National Army (LNA) is backed by the United Arab Emirates , Russia and Egypt.

The two sides represent sometimes unstable coalitions of different political, regional and armed factions.



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