UN envoy: Libya's elections may not be held this year

UN envoy: Libya's elections may not be held this year

September 30, 2018 - 19:59
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame told AFP on Saturday it will be difficult to hold elections as hoped on December 10, citing violence and long overdue legislation.

"There is still a lot to do. It may not be possible to respect the date of December 10," Salame said in an AFP interview.

Libyan rivals agreed to a Paris-brokered deal in May to hold a nationwide poll by the end of the year. The Paris agreement included a September 16 deadline to come up with an electoral law, forming the "constitutional base" for a vote later in the year.

However, Salame said that polls may not be organized before "three or four months,” adding that there should be electoral laws in place before the time comes.

"We can hold elections in the near future, yes. But certainly not now," he added in the interview, referring to logistic problems after the attack on the High National Elections Commission headquarters in Tripoli last May, saying after it moves to a new building soon, it will start new voter registration procedures.

Salame also said that a committee of military and police officers had been formed with the help of the UNSMIL and tasked with sorting out the registered individuals in Interior and Defense Ministries. (110.000 interior and 40.000 defense.)

“Some of the sorted out individuals will be legitimate personnel; the militia fighters will be searching for work elsewhere.” Salame remarked.

He also voiced support for the “Government of National Accord” saying it should be “fixed” and that reshuffling efforts are on the table, saying some new measures are soon to be announced.

“I was just surprised to seas how Libyans are creative in making hindrances to prolong the status quo, which is my first enemy in the country,” Salame said in the interview.