Libya’s prime minister wants to form new government

By Per Mertesacker and Marcus Gilmer, CNN

(CNN) — Libya’s interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said Tuesday his National Transitional Council intends to push to the head of the presidential candidates in a Dec. 17 election.

“I believe it’s important to have (a) constitutional declaration defining the new government, plus the constitutional referendum,” Jibril said at a news conference in Berlin, Germany.

He added that the transitional government intends to push for a constitutional declaration establishing a new government “as soon as possible before December 17.”

NTC and U.N. officials stressed during a news conference earlier Tuesday that issues of “unity and legitimacy” will play a “very, very significant role” in the election in which Jibril will likely be on the ballot.

Over the next three months, as the country remains divided between factions within the National Transitional Council — such as those allied with former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and other groups that opposed him — there will be periods of internal elections.

Four months after the rebellion, the country is still effectively broken up, with many people living in cities outside the capital Tripoli. Some violent clashes between different groups remain a concern.

As to whether Jibril would replace his current deputy as premier, and take on the post of interim president, Jibril said the NTC will take its time and reconsider.

“The government will be determined by the mandate given to the prime minister and the president,” he said.

Earlier this month, the NTC created a seven-member Presidential Commission charged with choosing the country’s next president in the midst of infighting over who is best suited to fill the post.

The commission members, who include Jibril, are acting in place of a previous committee that is no longer active and not officially represented on the NTC’s executive board.

The selection of a new government came as a much-needed step toward restoring stability in the country.

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