Egypt urges Libya’s parties to reach consensus over arrangements for planned elections

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jan 2021

The Red Sea resort city of Hurghada hosted on Tuesday the second meeting of the constitutional committee to discuss the constitutional arrangements for December's elections


The head of Egypt's National Committee concerned with Libyan affairs stressed to the Libyan parties the importance of putting aside differences and making use of the current "historic "opportunity to reach a consensus on a unified Libyan constitutional base that would allow holding the Libyan national elections and ending the Libyan crisis.

The remarks were made during the second meeting of the Libyan constitutional committee comprising delegations from the North African country's House of Representatives and High Council of State in Egypt on Tuesday.

The meeting is part of the United Nations (UN) led-talks to discuss the constitutional arrangements for the hoped-for national elections scheduled for next December.

It is also part of a roadmap delineated by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), run by the UN mission in the oil-rich country, with the aim of forming a new executive authority in the country to organise the elections next December.

Addressing Tuesday’s meeting via video conference, Acting UN envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams reiterated the need to agree on the constitutional arrangements given its connection with the outcomes of other tracks to settle the crisis.

“If you fail to reach an agreement, this will have very negative repercussions on other tracks, including security and the economic situation,” she added. 

The talks are part of a wider peace process which involves a military ceasefire signed in October in Geneva to end years of unrest, in addition to other economic tracks.

"You have a heavy responsibility to reach a consensus on the constitutional arrangements," she stressed, expressing her hope that the talk will produce positive results to help achieve stability and support the results of the LPDF.

Also, the UN envoy praised Egyptian efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis and the Egyptian leadership’s keenness to stabilise Libya.

The Red Sea resort city of Hurghada is hosting the second meeting of the constitutional committee, almost three months after hosting its first meeting, in which the participants stated the need to end the transitional phase and move forward towards a permanent phase to make the Libyan people's aspirations come true.

During the LPDF talk held Tunisia in November, Stephanie Williams announced that rival Libyan groups agreed to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of this year as well as concurred on the need to form a transitional government to be responsible for the preparations for the elections.

Egypt's efforts come in light of the Egyptian political leadership’s keenness to end the suffering of the Libyan people and lay the foundations for Libya’s future constitution.

No single government has had full control over the oil-rich country since 2011 when former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed.

The country has since been ruled by two administrations, one in the east, represented by the House of Representatives, and the second in the west, represented by the Government of National Accord.

Egypt has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya and calling for a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of militias, and a halt to foreign intervention in the country, as well as a fair distribution of wealth.

Egypt proposed last summer a peace initiative dubbed the Cairo declaration, which was based on the conclusion of the Berlin conference. It proposed a ceasefire as well as the election of a leadership council.

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