Libya leaders reach agreement to accelerate national elections

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Aug 2023

Libyan Presidential Council Head Mohammed Al-Menfi, House of Representatives Speaker Aguila Saleh, and General Commander of the Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar reached an agreement during a meeting in Benghazi on Saturday to accelerate the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections, according to Libyan media reports.



According to the agreement, parliament will be responsible for adopting election laws referred to it by the 6+6 Committee, as reported by the Libyan news site Fawasel.

The participants agreed to emphasize the national ownership of any political work, national dialogue, and non-participation in any committees "except through the internal national framework, without any other interference."

The participants also stressed the importance of inviting the head of the Presidential Council to convene a meeting with the heads of the House of Representatives and the High Council of State to finalize election laws.

They also expressed their appreciation for the role of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, led by Abdullah Bathily, in supporting local agreements to accelerate national elections. They also urged him "not to take any unilateral steps in the political process."

On 8 August, the Libyan parliament referred the draft laws on electing the head of state and the House of Representatives to the 6+6 Committee for reconsideration of certain provisions based on parliamentary representatives’ observations.

The committee recently announced that it had reached full agreement on the points related to these elections. It approved that the two elections would be conducted simultaneously and that the future legislative authority (the National Council) would consist of two chambers, the Parliament and the Senate. However, the committee noted that it would take some time to draft and finalize the legislation related to this matter.

Libya elections, which had been due in December 2021, have been postponed several times due to disagreements between rival factions.

Libya is split between Dbeibah's UN-backed government in the west and another in the east backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Bathily stated previously that some lingering security challenges remain before holding elections in Libya, including the withdrawal of foreign fighters and armed groups.

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