NTC begins Sunday to discuss new, temporary government

Libya's National Transitional Council says the country is not yet fully liberated.

Story highlights

  • The NTC wants to form a government that will carry Libya into elections
  • Forming the new government could take a week, a senior NTC member says
  • The interim government would include a premier, a vice premier, and 22 ministers
Libya's National Transitional Council will hold an urgent meeting Sunday to discuss the formation of an interim government, a senior council member told CNN Friday.
Mohammed Naser, the council member, said the formation of a government could take up to one week, but NTC members agreed that the interim government would include a premier, a vice premier, and 22 ministers. Naser did not give further details.
Earlier this week, Elamin Belhaj, a senior member of the NTC, told CNN the formation of a Libyan government would not be announced until anti-Gadhafi forces controlled the borders of the country and liberated three cities that still remained under loyalist control -- Bani Walid, Sirte and Sabha -- a task that could take up to one month, he said.
"We are not a fully established country," he said this week of the fact that Libya has not been completely liberated.
The NTC, he said, will expand as cities are liberated in order to give representation to all regions of the country. Ultimately, the council could have approximately 80 members; it currently has 43.
Belhaj said that after liberation, the NTC will create an interim government by appointing a prime minister who will be responsible for forming the government. The prime minister will decide how many ministers will be in that interim government, but he must return to the NTC for approval of that government.
Belhaj explained that the NTC decided to use the expression "interim government" because "the international community wants to deal with us through a government."
That interim government will prepare for the election within eight months of a National Congress, a body that will have 200 members. At the creation of the congress, the interim government will cease to exist.
The National Congress, Belhaj said, will form a committee to write a constitution for Libya, which will then be presented to the Libyan people to vote on in a referendum. If it's approved, Libya would have a permanent democratic constitution for the first time, he said.
In the final stage of transition, Libya will create a political system, including the formation of political parties that will participate in general parliamentary and presidential elections.
Asked to comment on charges that the ranks of the NTC are divided by regional rivalries, Belhaj said there is no division in the NTC. Islamists and secularists are "all together" during this stage of revolution, he said.