Africa

Libya's Mahmoud Jibril calls for national unity

  • 9 July 2012
  • From the section Africa

Libya's former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has called for national unity between political parties.

Mr Jibril said political factions must work together to restore order, which the state was too weak to enforce.

"The most important priority right now for all political parties is to unite behind one objective, bringing back the state back to our life," Mr Jibril told the BBC.

He is said to have done well in the first national post-Gaddafi elections.

Mr Jibril, who was interim prime minister for seven months during the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi last year, now leads a bloc of political parties called the National Forces Alliance.

Local media reports have said Mr Jibril's alliance leads the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in Saturday's parliamentary elections but official results have not yet been announced.

Stability and order

Mr Jibril said he believed Libya needed a combination of both a presidential and parliamentary system.

He stressed the need for Libya to establish army and police forces to ensure order across the country.

"You need swiftness, because you need stability and order, but this should not be done at the expense of the democratic process," he said.

On Sunday Mr Jibril, who was educated in the United States and whose bloc is seen by many as broadly liberal, called on parties to form a coalition government, something which rival politicians have tentatively welcomed.

Regional differences and rivalries, which lubricated the uprising and conflict last year, have persisted after the removal of the Gaddafi regime.

In the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year's uprising, protesters attacked polling stations, aggrieved at what they say is a disproportionately small number of assembly seats allocated to the region.

On the eve of the vote, the National Transitional Council which has been running Libya since Col Gaddafi was ousted, said the new parliament will no longer be responsible for naming the panel that will draft Libya's new constitution.

The 60-member committee will be elected in a separate vote at a later date.

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