controversy dominates libya over elections date
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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After Salame’s Plan

Controversy dominates Libya over elections date

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Arab Today, arab today Controversy dominates Libya over elections date

U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame
Tripoli - Fatima Al Saadawy

Libyan electoral officials announced on Wednesday the opening of a two-month voter registration period, though it is unclear when elections will next be held in the divided nation. The United Nations is supporting the voter registration process as it seeks to reconcile rival factions and relaunch a political transition that would lead to new polls.
The U.N. Libya mission has previously said it hopes elections can be held by the end of next year, but has also acknowledged complex security, political and legislative challenges to organizing a vote.
Libya last held elections in 2014 but the results were disputed, deepening divisions that emerged after the country’s 2011 uprising. The poll led to an escalation of armed conflict and to rival parliaments and governments being set up in the capital and the east.
Some Libyan political figures have called for elections as a way to break the deadlock after the stalling of a U.N.-backed peace deal signed in late 2015, with a new U.N. push to amend that deal so far producing no breakthrough.
U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame expressed sympathy with that view at a joint press conference with Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC) on Wednesday, calling elections “the best way to separate competitors”.
“I heard a large number of those demanding elections, some of whom decided on the type of elections and some who left it vague,” Salame said. But he said certain conditions had to be met first, including electoral legislation being passed and Libyans agreeing to accept the results in advance.
“You do not want these elections to be another area of disagreement between Libyans,” Salame said. The voter registration period is aimed at updating the voter register and allowing citizens who have not registered in the past to do so, said HNEC head Emad Alsayah.
“The registration process will last for 60 days, and the extension of process can be considered as required,” he said. Libyans living abroad will be able to register online from Feb. 1. Turnout in national elections in 2014 was low, with 630,000 out of the 1.5 million registered casting a vote.
In the same context, The High Council of State (HCS) has called for total equality with the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) in order to have successful amendments' talks for the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). "No comprehensive accord mean no agreement on a new presidential council." The HCS added.
It also urged on its Facebook page on Tuesday the UN and its Security Council to exert more pressure to end Libya's parallelism in political bodies and governments, reiterating support for elections that would end the transitional phase after the constitution receives approval.
"The UNSMIL should invite the western military officers and discuss the military status quo in Libya so that they can present their thoughts on the role of the army in the political process." The Head of the Anti-Terror and Security Backup Committee at the HCS, Belgasem Debrez explained.
He also rejected Cairo's hosting of Libya's military institutions unification meetings, saying Egypt is a biased party in the Libyan crisis. The HCS members renewed their call for equality with the HoR in a meeting that was attended by Ghassan Salame - the Head of the UNMSIL - in Tripoli.
Salame, on the other hand, expressed understanding regarding the HCS's objection to Article 02 of his proposal to amend the LPA, which revolves around the appointment mechanisms of the presidential council, saying he is open to more discussions in that regard with the HCS.
"We reject using the date of December 17 as a means to spoil the current political process, the date says nothing about the expiration of the only political ground on which Libya's political solution will be modeled." Salame added.
He indicated that elections need more efforts and time that most of the parties imagine, saying that a group of conditions must also be available for the elections, such as security, legislations, environment, among other issues.
Salame also said that the UNSMIL selected a neutral country to hold Libyan military institutions unification meetings, adding that he would give the name of the country at the right time.
Salame presented his proposal last November as a way for ending Libya's dilemma, with focus on executive authorities, however; the HCS had qualms about this proposal as there is no "sharing" as the LPA says.

 

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controversy dominates libya over elections date controversy dominates libya over elections date

 



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