Armed clashes in Tripoli on 28 August sparked fears that Libya was set to slide back into a war reminiscent of the battle for Tripoli in 2019. In no small part due to mediation efforts by Qatar, the country was able to step away from this reality in recent weeks.

After a frenzied period of diplomacy and visits of key Libyan players to Doha, a new proposal charting a pathway towards stability, is now on the table.

Indeed, clashes this week that killed five in Al-Zawiya in western Libya, are a reminder of the fragility of the situation and need to capitalise on the window of opportunity that recent mediation has brought about. For any peace to be durable, there is a need to take stock of previous failed mediation efforts, however.

''For almost a decade, Libya has remained locked in a cycle in which two to three years after each political agreement, questions arise over who holds legitimate power and the outcome is either a return to fighting, or a new political solution. If the new proposal gives Libyans a chance to express their will at the ballot box, then this is a positive development.''

A new political roadmap

Libya faces a complex political crisis in which two rival executives and two rival legislatures are competing for control. The new political proposal is to hold parliamentary elections prior to presidential elections. The assumption is that parliamentary legitimacy would enable the formation of a new government, thus resolving the conflict between rival administrations of  Dbeibah and Bashhaga.

The proposal was however only consented to by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, on the condition that the creation of a new Presidential Council would be led by him and include two other members -  Khaled Al-Mashri, as the head of the High Council of State from the west, and a representative of southern Libya. Saleh, who returned from his trip to Doha energised, addressed a closed parliamentary session laying out the new political roadmap…..

Read the full op-ed on The New Arab