CAIRO (AP) – Libyan delegates failed to agree on a legal framework to hold presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, the UN said on Saturday, endangering an agreed roadmap to endanger end to the conflict in this country.
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, a 75-member body from all walks of life in Libya, concluded its five-day talks on Friday at a hotel near Geneva, the United Nations support mission in Libya said.
Participants in the UN-brokered talks discussed several constitutional base proposals for the elections, some of which were inconsistent with the roadmap that fixed the December 24 vote. Others sought to establish preconditions for holding elections as planned, the mission said. .
The UN mission said LPDF members have created a committee to bridge the gap between the proposals submitted to the forum. But the impasse remained.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Raisedon Zenenga, the mission coordinator. “The Libyan people will certainly feel disappointed because they still aspire to exercise their democratic rights during the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24. “
The mission urged members of the forum to continue consultations to agree on “a workable compromise and cement what unites them”. He warned that proposals which “do not make elections possible and possible for the holding of elections on December 24 will not be accepted”.
“This is not the outcome that many of us were hoping for, but it is the best outcome given the options that were on the table,” forum member Elham Saudi wrote on Twitter. “It only delays the battle, but does not solve the problems. “
More than two dozen LPDF members criticized the UN mission for its proposal that the forum vote on suggestions that included keeping the current government in power and holding parliamentary elections only.
Richard Norland, the United States’ special envoy to Libya, accused “several members” of the forum of apparently trying to insert “poison pills” to ensure that elections do not take place “either by prolonging the constitutional process, or by creating elections to take place.
“We hope that the 75 Libyans of the LPDF will once again devote themselves to enabling the 7 million Libyans across the country to have a voice in shaping the future of Libya,” he said.
Christian Buck, director of the Middle East and North Africa at the German foreign ministry, urged LPDF members to stick to the roadmap for the December elections.
“Any postponement would open the door to dangerous scenarios,” he tweeted, without giving details.
The government, headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, was appointed by the forum earlier this year in a vote mired in corruption allegations. Its main mandate is to prepare the country for the December elections in the hope of stabilizing the divided nation.
Libya has been plagued by corruption and unrest since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In recent years, the country has been divided between a government-backed government. UN in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east of the country.
Each camp was supported by armed groups and foreign governments. The UN estimated in December that there were at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, including Turkish, Syrian, Russian, Sudanese and Chadian troops.
In April 2019, Commander Khalifa Hifter and his forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive in an attempt to capture Tripoli. Hifter’s 14-month campaign collapsed after Turkey stepped up military support for the UN-backed government with hundreds of soldiers and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.
A ceasefire agreement in October led to an agreement on the December elections and a transitional government that took office in February. The deal called for all foreign fighters and mercenaries to leave Libya within 90 days, but that request has yet to be met.