The president of the Libyan Supreme Electoral Commission, Imad al-Sayeh, has informed the displaced Parliament in the city of Tobrouk (east) that it is impossible to hold the presidential and legislative elections this Friday, December 24, the date set more than a year ago. year within the peace and national reconciliation plan promoted by the UN.
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In a letter addressed to the Chamber, the person in charge has also announced that both he and the board of directors were resigning their functions “as stipulated by the mandate” that the National Government of Transitory Unity (GNU) had granted them to organize the elections.
“After consulting the technical, judicial and security reports, we inform you of the impossibility of holding the elections on the date of December 24, 2021”, explained the president of the commission, without offering an alternative date or considering whether they should be postpone or cancel.
The possibility that the elections would not be held on the date set by the UN has hovered over the Libyan conflict since in September the Parliament in Tobrouk, elected in 2014 but without legitimacy as it was not conformed on time, issued an electoral law that was rejected in immediately by the Supreme Council of State, a sort of Senate elected in 2015 during the previous failed UN peace process.
To this day, Libya remains divided into two governments vying for power: a government of national unity recognized by the UN and a government led by General Khalifa Haftar, who was himself a candidate for the elections.
The discrepancies between the two chambers were based mainly on the conditions required of the candidates to present their candidacies.
The options for a postponement multiplied at the end of November after the electoral commission rejected the candidacies of Saif al Islam, son and presumed successor of Muammar al-Gaddafi, the dictator ousted in 2011; General Khalifa Haftar, leader of the eastern militias and strong man of the country; and the interim prime minister, Abdelhamid Debaibah, a billionaire who made his fortune alongside the dictatorship.
The three appealed and were reinstated as candidates by different courts, which considered that Saif al Islam and Haftar were eligible despite having been convicted by local tribes for crimes against humanity, and that Al Debaibah could attend despite the fact that he had not left his post. three months in advance since he had promised not to show up when he was appointed.
In this scenario, the commission delayed the announcement of the admitted candidacies – close to a hundred were presented – and exceeded the date established for the start of the electoral campaign, which should have started on December 9, while the international community undertook a race to try to save the Libyan electoral process, which he considers key to lift the country out of the chaos and civil war in which it has been immersed since in 2011 NATO contributed militarily to the victory of the heterogeneous rebel groups.