Libyan electoral commission concludes that elections cannot be held

The President from Libyan Supreme Electoral Commission, Imad al-Sayeh, has informed the Parliament displaced in the city of Tobruk (this) what is impossible to hold the presidential and legislative elections next Friday, December 24, the date set more than a year ago within the peace and national reconciliation plan promoted by the UN.

In a letter addressed to the Chamber, the person in charge also announced that both he and the board of directors were resigning their functions “as stipulated in the mandate” that the National Government of Transitory Unity (GNU) he had been granted 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 nor consider whether they should be postponed or canceled.

Controversial electoral law

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 satisfied in time, issued a electoral law which was immediately rejected by the Supreme Council of State, a sort of Senate elected in 2015 during the previous failed UN peace process.

The discrepancies between the two chambers were mainly based on the conditions required of applicants to present your candidacies. The options of 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 tyrant overthrown in 2011; of Marshal Khalifa Hafter, 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.

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All three appealed and went restored as candidates for different courts, who considered that Saif al Islam and Hafter 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. that 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 take the country out of chaos and the civil war in which it has been immersed since in 2011 NATO contributed militarily to the victory of the heterogeneous rebel groups.

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