Aqila Saleh (left), speaker of Libya s House of Representatives, and Khaled El-Meshry, head of Libya's Higher Council of State (right) during a press conference in Cairo with Speaker of Egypt s parliament (centre).
Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and Head of Libya’s Higher Council of State Khaled Al-Mishri agreed to draw a road map for finalising the arrangements necessary to complete the election process. The announcement comes following talks they both held in Cairo on Thursday.
The leaders of Libya’s two rival legislative chambers also agreed on referring the country’s constitutional document to the two entities to be endorsed. The endorsement of the constitutional document, they said, will pave the way for holding elections.
In a statement on Saturday, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomes the consensus reached by Saleh and Al-Mishri to refer the draft constitutional document to the two entities for approval with the aim of completing electoral laws and executive measures and unifying state institutions.
The ministry cited the UN-sponsored Libyan Constitutional Track Committee that comprises both entities and whose rounds kicked off in the Egyptian capital in April last year as the “main track that embodies the will of the Libyan people”.
The relevant state institutions in Libya take full ownership of this track with the aim to establish the framework for reaching a political settlement in future, the ministry added.
The ministry praised the role played by the two entities in undertaking their responsibilities and expressed aspiration that they fulfill the rest of their tasks in the coming period.
Cairo has hosted three rounds of the Constitutional Track Committee meetings. During the last round, which was held in June, Libyan leaders reached a consensus on the constitutional framework to hold elections.
Libya has witnessed a political stalemate since it has failed to hold the long-awaited elections in December 2021. The country is currently divided between two rival governments; one based in Tripoli, led by Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, and the other appointed by the east-based parliament and led by Fathi Bashagha.
Dbeibah, who has refused to hand over power before holding elections, asserted last week that his government is ready to hold general elections in 2023.
Egypt has repatedly affirmed that holding elections is the only way to resolve the ongoing crisis in Libya.
In a joint press conference following Thursday’s talks, Al-Mishri said that all Libyan committees have been able to reach a consensus – under Egypt’s sponsorship – on many of the points of the constitutional document.
Al-Mishri added that election laws would be jointly drafted by both Libya's House of Representatives and Higher Council of State and that in case of disagreement the election laws would be put up for vote in a public referendum.
"Egypt will always remain supportive of the choices of the Libyan people and the role of the Libyan institutions in a way that leads to achieving security, stability, and unity in Libya," the foreign ministry said.
Egypt will also support Libya in a way that leads to the exit of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libyan lands. It will also work towards safeguarding Libya’s sovereignty and its people’s resources in line with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the outcomes of the Paris and Berlin tracks, the ministry added.