Libya's Jibril sees new government within a month

DEAD SEA, Jordan Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:36am EDT

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DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) - Libya's outgoing prime minister said on Sunday consultations were under way to form an interim government within a month as the country looks ahead to its first democratic elections in more than four decades.

With deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi dead, the people who led his overthrow are trying to unite the country's disparate forces and press ahead with democracy and reconstruction of the war-scarred north African country.

Mahmoud Jibril said the fighters who toppled Gaddafi were ready to return to their cities and "join hands for the sake of rebuilding their own country."

"There are consultations which started to form an ... interim government. This process will take, I think, from one week to one month approximately," Mahmoud Jibril told reporters.

"This is my expectation. It might go longer, it might be less than that," he said, speaking in English.

Elections to a national congress, or parliament, to replace Libya's National Transitional Council would take place as soon as possible afterwards, Jibril said.

He said he did not plan to stand for any official position after stepping down this weekend.

"The head of the new parliament, when elected, will be the temporary or provisional president of the country," he said.

Presidential elections would follow, leading to Libya's first elected government.

"We wish to go over all those phases as soon as possible so democratic life in Libya will start right away and development will start taking place," Jibril said.

Tens of thousands were due to pack a square in Libya's second city Benghazi, the nerve center of the rebellion against Gaddafi, to hear interim government leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil announce the country's "liberation."

(Reporting by Tom Pfeiffer; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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