Potential leaders of a new Libyan interim government joined in competing blocs on Thursday to seek backing from participants in U.N.-backed talks after publicly auditioning for top roles.
The process is part of a U.N plan that envisages national elections at the end of the year as a political solution to Libya’s decade of chaos.
Although the process represents the biggest peacemaking effort for years, it is fraught with risk as heavily armed groups watch their allies and rivals vying for political power.
Late on Thursday masked fighters deployed in pickup trucks in central Tripoli, setting up checkpoints, a Reuters witness said, with participants in the U.N. process to vote for the rival slates of candidates on Friday.
Candidates for the three positions in a presidency council and for the post of prime minister have been interviewed in live broadcast sessions throughout the week.
On one ticket, eastern-based parliament head Aguila Saleh, a candidate to lead the presidency council, has joined with western-based Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, seeking to be prime minister, Osama Juweili, a western military commander, and Abdulmajid Seif al-Nasr, from the south.