UN: Breakthrough in Libya Talks 01/17 09:29
CAIRO (AP) -- The top U.N. official for Libya said Saturday an advisory
committee for representatives of Libya's different regions has proposed a way
forward for choosing a transitional government that would lead the war-torn
country to elections late this year.
The talks in Geneva, structured around the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum,
have been taking place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful
settlement to Libya's civil war. Previous diplomatic initiatives have all
U.N. acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams told a news conference in
Geneva that the advisory committee's members "have met their responsibility
with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts, and a great deal of
The committee is part of a 75-member forum that represents all the three
main regions of Libya. The 18-member committee has proposed that each region's
electoral college name a representative to a three-member presidential council,
Williams said. A prime minister would be chosen by the 75-member forum. A
successful nominee should receive 70% of votes.
Williams said that the forum would resort to lists formed from Libya's three
regions, with each list consisting of four names, nominated for the
presidential council and a prime minister position.
She said a list should obtain 17 endorsements: eight from the western
region, six from the eastern region and three from southern Libya. The winning
list should receive 60% of the votes of the 75-member forum in the first round.
A run-up is expected if no list received the required votes, she said.
Williams said the forum would vote on the proposed mechanism on Monday and
the results are expected the following day.
The transitional government would be "a temporary unified executive staffed
by Libyan patriots who want to share responsibility rather than to divide the
cake," the U.N. acting envoy said.
The U.S. welcomed the breakthrough and urged all parties of Libya "to work
with urgency and in good faith" to establish an interim government, according
to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Libya.
"It is time to move past the conflict and corruption facilitated by the
status quo," it said.
The forum is part of the U.N. efforts to end the chaos that engulfed the
oil-rich North African nation after the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator
Moammar Gadhafi. It has reached an agreement last year to hold presidential and
parliamentary elections on Dec. 24, 2021.
The oil-rich country is now split east to west between two rival
administrations, each backed by an array of militias and foreign powers.
The warring sides agreed to a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in October in Geneva,
a deal that included the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya
within three months.
No progress was announced on the issue of foreign forces and mercenaries
since they inked the cease-fire deal almost two months ago.