But after meeting to try again on Sunday, the council’s top officials have still not overcome regional disputes over the composition of the cabinet, even though it is expected to hold power for only the first eight months after the official “liberation” of Libya is declared.
This vacuum at the top is, in turn, holding back efforts to unify the country, exert civilian authority over freewheeling militias, and get control of the weapons that now flood the streets.
Negotiations are deadlocked, council members say, over how to divide power among groups from different regions. Leaders from Benghazi, Misurata, Zintan and other cities all argue that their suffering or their contributions during the revolt entitle them to a greater voice.
Some are also challenging the council’s current face to the world, Mahmoud Jibril, a former University of Pittsburgh professor of political science who has been serving as both the prime minister and foreign minister. He faces especially determined opposition from Misurata, a center of manufacturing and trade whose fighters endured a devastating siege by Qaddafi troops, and emerged as the rebels’ most potent force.