Al-Sirraj's outlandish elections and Libyans' reactions

Al-Sirraj's outlandish elections and Libyans' reactions

July 20, 2017 - 11:05
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

By Abdelkader Assad, freelance journalist

Since Saturday, Libyans – both ordinary citizens and political stakeholders – have been chewing on one and only one subject; the proposed road map of the Head of the UN-proposed government's Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sirraj.

Al-Sirraj proposed a road map that above all things gave Libyans "elections" fever like that they see in the US and Europe to the extent that they started planning their votes from the very moment Al-Sirraj said he fancies presidential and parliamentary elections in next March.

On the street and pretty much on Facebook and Twitter, ordinary people started talking about the elections, some doubting it could ever happen given the many economic and political troubles in Libya that beg for resolutions, and some others having wishful thinking about who could be the one – who could be Libya's next president.

Now on the political level, many rejected the call such as the House of Representatives' Speaker Aqilah Saleh, who said the elections need a Libyan constitution first, and the the Chairman of the High National Committee of Elections, Emad Al-Sayeh, who said Al-Sirraj's date for elections – next March – is unrealistic and means that for the presidential elections only, the work and preparation should start from next month, adding that before all, there must be an elections law first.

The same notion was expressed by the religious cleric, Ali Al-Salabi, who said that the Libyan judiciary should devise an elections law that will be of consensus to all parties across Libya.

Also on the official level in the political arena, HoR members and members from High Council of Sate of the UN-brokered government had their agreements and disagreements to express regarding the next elections.

While internationally, the elections call did not draw much attention, not farther than Qatar, whose Foreign Minister, Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, commented on Twitter on Monday saying the road map of Al-Sirraj could eventually lead to uniting Libya and ending division.

However, the most interesting reaction was from Basit Igtet, a Libyan political stakeholder and businessman living in Switzerland, who after being rumored to be eying the position of President of Libya after Al-Sirraj's call, posted footage on his Facebook page saying that Al-Sirraj's overnight call for elections is delusional as Libyans are suffering from bad living conditions and lack of security and Al-Sirraj's government is doing nothing to help Libyans. He added that if the Libyan people think he should be the leader of the next phase, then he is ready to work.

With all the different reactions and comments on the elections – including Al-Sirraj's statement to Sputnik favoring Khalifa Haftar for the post – the question remains: are Libyans ready to cast ballots for a new president under the same vision and leadership of both the UN-brokered government and the Tobruk-based HoR or not?

 

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer