The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said on Thursday that nominations for the leadership of a new unified transitional government must be made within a week and a vote on candidates should take place in early February.
Maneuvering over the new government has raised fears that powerful people who are losing influence may try to sabotage the process.
In November, the UN gathered 75 Libyan participants in a political dialogue in Tunis aimed at setting out a roadmap for the national elections they held at the end of December.
After weeks of fighting, the members of the dialogue this week agreed on rules for the election of a new presidential council with three members and a prime minister to monitor before the election.
The UN said on Thursday that dialogue members would vote on candidates for the new government’s leadership positions in Switzerland from 1 to 5 February.
Libyan envoys at separate UN-backed talks in Geneva voted on Tuesday to implement a mechanism to elect a temporary chief executive until the December election, according to the UN, calling it an “important step forward”.
Earlier this week, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council (UNSC), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the “concrete progress” made in recent months in tackling the near-decadal Libyan crisis and reiterated that all foreign troops and mercenaries must evacuate the country by the end of the week.
The talks in Geneva, structured around the Libyan forum for political dialogue, have taken place in the midst of heavy international pressure to reach a peaceful solution to Libya’s civil war. Previous diplomatic initiatives have collapsed.
In the Libyan conflict, forces loyal to the UN-recognized government for national agreement (GNA) based in Tripoli and its rival, Putchist general Khalifa Haftar, formally stopped a ceasefire in October 2020. After a failed offensive against Tripoli, Haftar launched 2019, the two sides have returned to negotiations. GNA has kept the capital under its control ever since.
Haftar has mainly received support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Russia. Russia has mainly supported Haftar’s forces by deploying mercenaries from the Wagner group to the war-torn country in their struggle to seize power from the GNA in Tripoli.