The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said Thursday that nominations for leadership of a new unified transitional government must be made within a week and voting on candidates would take place in early February.
Maneuvering over the new government has raised fears that powerful figures who stand to lose influence could attempt to sabotage the process.
The U.N. in November gathered 75 Libyan participants in a political dialogue in Tunis aimed at laying out a road map to national elections that they set for late December.
After weeks of wrangling, the dialogue members this week agreed on rules for selecting a new three-member presidential council and a prime minister to oversee the run-up to the election.
The U.N. said Thursday that dialogue members would vote on candidates for the new government's leadership positions in Switzerland from Feb. 1-5.
Libyan envoys at separate U.N.-backed talks in Geneva voted Tuesday to pass a mechanism to choose an interim executive to govern until the December elections, according to the U.N., calling it a "significant step forward."
Earlier this week, in a report submitted to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the "tangible progress" made in recent months to tackle the nearly decadelong Libyan crisis and reiterated that all foreign troops and mercenaries must evacuate the country by the week's end.
The talks in Geneva, structured around the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, have been taking place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful settlement to Libya’s civil war. Previous diplomatic initiatives have all collapsed.
Releasing a statement Friday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry expressed the country's satisfaction with the consensus reached on the election process of the unified transitional government in Libya.
The statement added that Turkey has always given importance to the sovereignty, unity and political integrity of Libya and Ankara hopes the process will lead to positive, concrete results as soon as possible.
In the Libyan conflict, forces loyal to the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and those of its rival, putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, formally agreed on a cease-fire in October 2020. After a failed offensive on Tripoli launched by Haftar in April 2019, the two sides have returned to negotiations. The GNA has kept the capital city under its control since then.
Haftar has been mainly supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Russia. Russia has primarily supported Haftar's forces by deploying mercenaries of the Wagner Group to the war-torn country in their fight to seize power from the GNA in Tripoli.