Libya’s rebel leader has promised to hand over power to an elected assembly within eight months of the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
Sketching out the country’s path to democracy, after the end of Gaddafi’s 42-year reign, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chair of the National Transitional Council, sought to draw a line under questions about the intent and the legitimacy of his un-elected council, which has become the de-facto government in the rebel-held east of Libya.
“This (transition) period is needed to establish stability… it will not exceed eight months, maybe it will be much less. After which Libyans will be called upon to elect a national congress,” he told a news conference.
And with the council’s international backers anxious to set out a clear path toward democracy and to avoid the country descending into chaos, Abdel Jalil said a referendum on a new constitution would come with 20 months.
Gaddafi regime officials were in talks with a special UN envoy on Tuesday night as rebels claimed they would take Tripoli by the end of the month and the US said the dictator’s “days are numbered”.
Abdel-Elah al-Khatib, the former Jordanian foreign minister appointed by the United Nations to try to negotiate an end to the conflict, said he was meeting representatives of both sides of the Libyan conflict in Tunisia. Agencies