Libya's Jibril calls for grand coalition
By Mark John and Hadeel Al Shalchi
TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Libya's wartime rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril called for the some 150 political parties in the North African nation to back the creation of a grand coalition government, as election results were due to come in on Monday.
The call came as Libyans celebrated Saturday's largely peaceful national assembly election, the first free national poll in Libya after 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi which went ahead despite widespread fears of violence.
First official results were due on Monday and Jibril declined comment on speculation his own National Forces Alliance (NFA) of around 60 parties was leading Islamic groups including the political wing of Libya's Muslim Brotherhood.
"We extend an honest call for a national dialogue to come altogether in one coalition, under one banner ... This is an honest and sincere call for all political parties operating today in Libya," Jibril said.
"In yesterday's election there was no loser or winner ... Whoever wins, Libya is the real winner," he told a late-night news conference on Sunday.
Jibril is a fluent English-speaker who was the main point man of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) with Western backers including France, Britain and the United States.
He rejected descriptions of the NFA as secular and liberal, saying a commitment to tenets of Islamic law was among its core principles - a comment which could facilitate efforts to form ties with more overtly Islamist parties.
No comment was immediately available from leading groups such as the Justice and Construction Party, the political branch of the Libyan counterpart of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Watan, an Islamist group led by former rebel militia leader Abdel Hakim Belhadj, said it would study the call on Monday. Continued...