No first round winners following Libya vote on government

No first round winners following Libya vote on transitional government
3 min read
05 February, 2021
The vote is part of a complex process it is hoped will help build on a fragile ceasefire and end more than a decade of conflict.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by civil war. [Getty]

Libyan delegates at UN-backed talks were voting on Friday for a transitional prime minister and three-member presidency council to govern the war-ravaged North African country until December elections.

The vote is part of a complex process it is hoped will help build on a fragile ceasefire and end more than a decade of conflict.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by civil war since a NATO-backed uprising led to the ousting and killing of long-time dictator Moamer Ghaddafi in 2011.

The 75 participants - selected by the United Nations to represent a broad cross-section of society - have been meeting since Monday at a venue outside Geneva.

They were choosing on Friday between proposed line-ups for the four leadership positions - the prime minister and three presidency council posts, which will represent the three main regions.

Control of the country is now split between a Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and the eastern-based House of Representatives backed by military leader Khalifa Haftar.

The two remaining blocs vying for votes in Switzerland are headed by Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha, interior minister in the GNA.

'Libya's greatness' 

The two blocs have been whittled down from an original choice of four, described earlier by moderator Stephanie Williams as "representative of Libya's greatness and its potential".

All of the prime ministerial candidates gave written pledges committing to an agreed roadmap towards holding national elections on December 24, and to respecting the results of that vote.

They also committed to appointing women to at least 30 percent of the senior leadership positions in the transitional government.

"That means ministers, deputy ministers - and I believe that should include deputy prime ministers," said Williams.

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) held a first round of voting on Tuesday but with none of the 24 council candidates meeting the required threshold of 70 percent, elections moved to a second round based on four alternative lists for the four posts.

'Reuniting state institutions'

In Friday's fresh round of voting, 60 percent of valid votes were needed to elect a list.

The Bashagha-led list came first with 25 votes, followed by Dbeibah on 20, Mohammed Abdul-Lateef Al-Montaser on 15 and Mohammad Khaled Adbullah Ghweil on 13.

Without a clear winner, the top two lists proceeded to a straight run-off ballot.

For transparency, the entire voting process was broadcast live by the UN.

According to the UN, the transitional council will be tasked with "reuniting state institutions and ensuring security" until the December 24 elections.

A fragile ceasefire agreed in Geneva in October has largely held, despite threats by Haftar to resume fighting.

The UN Security Council on Thursday instructed Secretary General Antonio Guterres to deploy ceasefire monitors to Libya.

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