UN ready to assist Libya elections
Tripoli - The United Nations is ready to assist Libya's new authorities in their preparations for elections, UN envoy Ian Martin told reporters in Tripoli on Monday.
"The National Transitional Council has put assistance with the electoral process very high on the list of tasks where they seek United Nations assistance and so we have done a good deal of preparatory work," he said.
The special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Tripoli on Saturday for talks with the local authorities on how the United Nations can help them in the months ahead.
Martin said it was "too soon for details" on how the transition would unfold as decisions regarding the electoral system, the establishment of an electoral commission and other technical details have yet to be determined.
"The United Nations is certainly ready to move very fast in bringing the electoral expertise that can assist the authorities on moving on the timetable [for elections] that they have established."
The National Transitional Council has mapped out a timetable which gives it eight months to lead Libya until the direct election of a constitutional assembly of about 200 people.
Within a year of the council being put in place, parliamentary and presidential elections should take place, NTC officials have said.
But the clock does not start ticking until the new authorities, who claim to control at least 90 percent of Libya, proclaim the full liberation of the north African nation.
"That timetable begins running once the full liberation [of Libya] is declared," said Martin.
The NTC, whose forces ousted autocratic Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family from the capital Tripoli on August 23, announced the election programme last week.
Gaddafi and his sons are still at large and several towns remain out of the control of the country's new leadership, including Bani Walid, Sirte and Sabha.