After the postponement, will Libya succeed in organizing its expected elections?

TripoliThe holding of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya stumbled on schedule after the High Electoral Commission formally proposed postponing the electoral process until January 24.

The first round of the presidential elections was scheduled for December 24 (tomorrow), with the second round of presidential elections to be held in conjunction with the parliamentary elections, a month after the first round of the presidential elections.

The United Nations is trying to salvage the roadmap agreed upon in Geneva between the Libyan Political Dialogue Committee on holding presidential and parliamentary elections after the inauguration of the former head of the United Nations mission, Stephanie Williams, as an advisor in Libya to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Williams met with a number of local personalities and parties in eastern and western Libya, where private sources indicate that she suggested holding elections next June. .

Parties in eastern Libya affiliated with the House of Representatives oppose holding parliamentary elections without the presidential elections, and consider this an attempt to exclude them from the Libyan scene.

On the other hand, parties in western Libya oppose the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections due to the lack of agreement between the House of Representatives and the state on an electoral law agreed upon between the two sides, the absence of a constitution regulating political life, and the presence of controversial personalities running for the presidential elections accused of war crimes.

Postponement decision

The head of the Electoral Commission, Imad al-Sayeh, announced earlier the dissolution of the electoral committees, the termination of their work and a return to the situation before the electoral process, in a move that indicated the impossibility of organizing the presidential vote on the specified date.

Al-Sayeh’s decision stipulated not to renew all seasonal contracts in all offices and branches, and to settle all dues and financial obligations that resulted from the electoral process by the end of this year.

The High Commission has proposed postponing the polling of the first round of the presidential elections to its new date, but after coordination with the House of Representatives, which said that it should take measures to remove what it called a state of force majeure that prevented it from announcing the final list of candidates.

On the other hand, the security situation in Tripoli became tense after intense movements and the closure of roads and paths by armed groups affiliated with “Haitham Al-Tajouri” and “Abdul-Ghani Al-Kikli”, commander of the Stabilization Support Agency against Brigade 444 under the command of Mahmoud Hamza, against the background of the dismissal of the Presidential Council, the commander of the Tripoli Military Region. Abdel Baset Marwan.

The Presidential Council, as the supreme commander of the army, retracted the decision to dismiss Abdel Baset Marwan after cordoning off the headquarters of the government in Tripoli and the Ministry of Defense, and postponed the appointment of Major General Abdel Qader Mansour Saad until further notice.

Reasons for failure

Member of the Supreme Council of State Ahmed Naqi said that the failure of the Electoral Commission to complete its work came as a result of several reasons, including the “flawed” laws issued by the House of Representatives, the serious threats to the Electoral Commission from several sides, and regional and international interference in the Libyan political affairs.

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Naqi said that the presidential and legislative elections will take place early next year, after the necessary preparation for their conduct, the convergence of views on the security situation, the unification of the military institution, support for moving the wheel of the economy, and the gradual integration of armed militias into the military system, without indicating whether the short period remaining It can accomplish all of that.

Naqi ruled out a conflict between the armed groups in Tripoli, because they know that they are under the supervision of military forces that are beyond their capabilities. However, he considered that the current Presidential Council has insufficient capabilities to lead the next stage.

Transparency in elections

In turn, a member of the Supreme Council of State, Qassem Dabars, considered that the dissolution of the commission’s offices in the regions and municipalities should have been preceded by the decision to postpone or by mentioning the reasons at least for the sake of transparency for the Libyan people.

Debers added to Al-Jazeera Net, “This mysterious case is a continuation of the irresponsible tampering of the responsible authorities and the issuance of vague and unclear decisions that were not based on real facts.”

He continued, “We are still calling for postponing the elections until a constitution is issued for the country that clarifies the powers and defines the powers and duties of the president and the powers of other bodies in the Libyan political scene, or that agreed upon laws are agreed upon and acceptable to everyone to hold the elections.”

Debarz stated that the Electoral Commission does not have the right to completely terminate the electoral process or cancel it, and what it can do is to temporarily suspend the process until new instructions are issued to it regarding the agreement on the date of the elections, according to him.

The removal of mercenary fighters and the holding of elections are the two most pressing issues currently in Libya (communication sites)

The spokesman held the Presidential Council, in its capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Army, fully responsible for inflicting punishment on anyone who deviates from the established military discipline, orders and systems, and the instability resulting from the actions of armed groups, creating a state of panic and fear among citizens, and the deterioration of the security situation.

Debars stated that the differences now are superficial, not deep and deep-rooted between the armed groups in Tripoli, and there will be no widespread and major clash, and the Presidential Council must assume its full responsibilities and be firm in its decisions to warn the undisciplined armed formations and punish them severely, even if this leads to their dissolution.

Postponing won’t change anything

In turn, political analyst Musa Tehosay confirmed that the announcement by the High Elections Commission to postpone the elections to next January 24, while maintaining these laws, may not change anything, and end with the same result that we are experiencing now with the approaching date set for the elections.

“If the matter is a political consensus among all Libyan parties to hold the elections on their new date, the situation may change, which is a complicated matter and requires more time than the proposed date of the commission,” Tehusay told Al Jazeera Net.

The analyst believes that American pressures affected the new date at a time when the Electoral Commission was heading to announce the collective resignation after the failure to hold the elections and the absurd political conflicts.

He added, “I expect that US pressure will continue on the political and security parties to respect the new date. As for the security tensions in Tripoli, I do not expect them to obstruct the electoral process, which has become a popular necessity, and security understandings have been reached to solve the problem.”

Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces prepare ammunition to head out from Misrata to the front line in Tripoli, Misrata, Libya May 9, 2019. Picture taken May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Ayman Al-SahiliOne of the biggest challenges Libya faces is gathering the armed factions into a unified army (Reuters)

important intervention

The official in the Libyan army, Al-Taher Ali, considered that the intervention of the Presidential Council, as the supreme commander of the army, is important to defuse the war in Tripoli in particular and the western region in general.

Ali added to Al-Jazeera Net, “The dispute between the warring parties in Tripoli over funding sources is fueled by some parties to break up the western region, to bring Tripoli into a conflict, if it happens, which will affect the conduct of the electoral process.”

Ali stressed that a session was held at the Maitika military base to solve the existing problem in Tripoli and calm the tense situation between the two sides, which are affiliated with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defense and the Supreme Commander of the Army.

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