Libyan PM-designate proposes unity government plan


FILE PHOTO: Libya's new prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, gestures as he talks during celebrations commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2011 revolution in Tripoli, Libya February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's designated prime minister, chosen via a U.N.-facilitated process last month, said on Thursday he had proposed a governing plan to the country's divided parliament as part of a peace process.

The new interim government is intended to replace Libya's two rival administrations and oversee the run-up to national elections planned for December in a roadmap to end years of chronic chaos and violence.

"It will be a government of technocrats representing the whole Libyan spectrum," designated prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh told a news conference in Tripoli, adding that he had attempted a "fair distribution" of posts between the west, east and south of the country.

However, he did not announce any names for cabinet roles after a process of intense negotiations over recent weeks to form a government that could win acceptance across front lines.

"We are ready to submit the names," he said, but had first wanted to propose the structure of the government and its main objectives to the parliament for approval.

Libya, a major North African oil and gas producer, has enjoyed little peace since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, and the sprawling country has been split since 2014 between rival factions.

DIVIDED

One is the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli in Libya's west, while the east is controlled by an administration backed by Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).

Dbeibeh's new interim government is intended to replace both existing administrations.

Last month, participants in a U.N. dialogue in Geneva selected Dbeibeh as prime minister along with a three-member presidency council to act as head of state. All four men have pledged not to stand for office in December's election.

Dbeibeh's proposed cabinet will be put for approval to the House of Representatives, a body that has been divided for years after some of its members broke off to form a rival assembly.

House of Representative members from both assemblies have been negotiating in recent days for a meeting to discuss the proposed government that could take place in the frontline city of Sirte.

"We have full confidence in the members of parliament... I am very hopeful that on the day of the session they will approve the government," Dbeibeh said.

"According to our information from the parliament members, I think they are ready to grant the government approval."

(Reporting by Reuters Libya newsroom, writing by Angus McDowall, editing by Mark Heinrich and Gareth Jones)

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