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Libyan MPs ‘agree on early elections’

The parliament reached the conscensus following popular pressure after it had extended its mandate that ended on Feb. 7

Published: Updated:

Libya's parliament has reached consensus on holding early elections following popular pressure after it had extended its mandate that ended on Feb. 7, deputies said Sunday.

"The political blocs are unanimous on the holding of early elections" for new transitional authorities, MP Abdullah from the al-Gmati bloc told AFP.

The 200 members of the General National Congress (GNC) were elected in July 2012 for a term of 18 months and tasked with leading the country's transition after the 2011 uprising.

But earlier this month, it decided to extend its mandate until December despite opposition from Libyans.

Libyans have been critical of the body’s inability to halt the country’s slide into further instability.

Thousands took to the streets for the second consecutive week on Friday to protest against the decision.

The GNC last week adopted a new roadmap that set a general election by the end of the year.

The elected commission would still need to decide on key issues in a new constitution, including the system of government, the status of minorities and the role of Islamic sharia law.

If within 60 days, the commission decides it cannot complete the job, it would call for immediate presidential and legislative polls for a renewed period of 18 months.

Monday will mark three years since the start of the revolution that overthrew former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.