The various political factions in Libya are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from February 1-5 to decide on the composition of the interim governing authority that will be in power till the national elections in December. The meeting will choose an interim prime minister and a three-member presidency council from a pre-selected list of 45 candidates. The list comprises 24 candidates for the presidency council and 21 for the prime minister’s post. The list of candidates was announced after more than three months of talks between Libyan delegates belonging to the 75 political factions on January 30.
The acting head of the UNSMIL (United Nations Mission in Libya), Stephanie Williams, in a statement welcoming the development, said that the adoption of the roadmap in Tunis by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum is a significant progressive step in regards to the “aspirations and demands of the Libyan people” and in realizing a sovereign and unified Libya. She went on to say that “I am encouraged by the high number of nominations that you put forward, and I welcome the diversity represented by the pool of candidates who are drawn from all political and social components of the Libyan society. This is the kind of competition that can only take place when the guns are silent.”
According to a report in the North Africa Post, the 45 candidates have been selected keeping in mind geographical considerations, and represent the various political groups, as well as the tribal communities. The list of candidates also includes three women. The candidates for the prime minister include current Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council Ahmed Maiteeq, and two Misratan businessmen Abdulhamid Dabaiba and Mohammad al-Muntasir. The list of candidates for the presidency council, which will comprise of one president and two vice-presidents, are Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, State Council Speaker Khalid al-Mishri, former member of the national conference Sharif Al-Wafi, the Commander of the Western Military Region Major General Osama al-Jowaili, and the Defense Minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Salah al-Din al-Namroush.
The interim government will rule the country for the next 10 months until the Libyan national elections which are scheduled to take place on December 24. Once the government is formed, it is expected to bring some respite to the country that is currently governed by two administrations – the Tripoli-based GNA led by prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and the House of Representatives and its affiliated Libyan National Army led by the rebel general Khalifa Haftar. Out of the 45 candidates, the ones that will eventually be selected for the interim posts will have to sign a legal undertaking stating that they will not contest in the December elections and that they will abide by existing Libyan nationality law.