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Libyan premier calls for polls to be held on schedule

US special envoy to Libya says some members of LPDF seeking to hinder elections

Diana Shalhub   | 03.07.2021
Libyan premier calls for polls to be held on schedule

ISTANBUL 

Libya's prime minister on Saturday called for conducting Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections on its scheduled time, on Dec. 24.

"We urge all parties and the UN mission to fulfil their responsibilities to let public interest prevail and to agree on a mechanism to ensure conducting elections on time," Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh wrote on Twitter.

For his part, US special envoy to Libya Richard Norland noted that some Libyan parties within the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) are trying to hinder the national polls from being held on schedule.

"We have watched the LPDF meetings this week in Geneva closely, including several members who appear to be trying to insert 'poison pills' that will ensure elections will not happen," Norland said in a statement published on Facebook, without specifically naming any figures.

He added that those members sought to hinder the polls "either by prolonging the constitutional process or by creating new conditions that must be met for elections to occur."

On Friday, the assistant secretary-general and mission coordinator for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Raisedon Zenenga said the LPDF did not reach common ground on a constitutional basis for parliamentary and presidential elections.

"It is regrettable that, despite all the opportunities, there is still no common ground," he said.

The meetings began Monday, seeking to build constitutional safeguards acceptable to all sides ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections that aim to consolidate the peace process.

As part of the UN-led dialogue, meetings of the 5+5 Joint Military Committee were held 23 Oct., 2020, in Geneva. As a result of the meetings, a permanent cease-fire agreement was signed between the legitimate Libyan government and delegations affiliated with warlord Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

Within the scope of the political process that started after the cease-fire agreement, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum decided in November last year that elections will be held in December 2021.

Libyans hope the new unity government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.


* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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