Libyan Islamist leader proposes elections to end conflict

Fresh elections are the only way to end conflict in Libya where two governments and parliaments are competing for power and the country's oil wealth, an influential Islamist supporter of a self-declared government in Tripoli said.

Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni's internationally recognised government and elected parliament have operated out of eastern Libya since a rival armed faction called Libya Dawn took over Tripoli in August and set up its own government.

The United Nations has been hosting talks to persuade the rival factions to form a national government, four years after the civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

But progress has been slow as both sides want their own parliament - the House of Representatives in Tobruk or its predecessor, the General National Congress in the capital, Tripoli - to form any such unity cabinet.

"The Libyan people should elect new personalities to represent them. I think this is a very appropriate solution," said Khalid Sherif, a former deputy defence minister. "This is a national solution," he told Reuters in an interview.