, Dec 9 () –
Libya’s High Council of State, based in the capital Tripoli, has proposed to postpone the presidential elections, scheduled for December 24, to February, with the aim of holding them together with the parliamentarians, amid preparations for these elections.
The body has stressed that the presidential elections must be based on a list system that includes a president, two vice-presidents and a prime minister, at the same time that it has called on the Government and the electoral commission to review the voter registration, as reported by the newspaper ‘The Libya Observer’.
Likewise, the second vice president of the High Council of State, Omar Bushá, has argued that this postponement would be justified due to the problems faced by the electoral commission and the controversy surrounding several of the presidential candidates, including Saif al Islam, son of Muammar Gaddafi, and General Khalifa Haftar.
The Libyan courts have accepted the appeals of Saif al Islam and Haftar – aligned with the authorities based in the east of the country – after the exclusion of their candidacies, which is why they are again in the race for the Libyan Presidency.
The High Council of State has advisory capacity and was created as a result of the Political Agreement of December 2015, applied only partially, with the aim of advising the Government of unity – already dissolved – and the House of Representatives, the established Parliament in Tobruk (east).
Libya has had a unity government since March after a process of talks to unify the opposing administrations, after the internationally recognized authorities based in Tripoli repelled the offensive launched in 2019 by Haftar against the country’s capital last year.
The new Executive, headed by Abdul Hamid Dbebibé, has among its main objectives the organization of legislative and presidential elections, with which it is expected to put a stop to the institutional crisis that opened in 2014 and the instability that it has suffered since the capture and execution in October of 2011 of the then Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
In this sense, the then United Nations special envoy for Libya, Jan Kubis, warned at the end of November that the non-holding of elections “could seriously deteriorate the situation” in the country and “lead to further division and conflict.” . Kubis, who subsequently resigned, has been replaced by Stephanie Williams.
Williams, with extensive experience in diplomacy and foreign security policy, was previously acting special representative and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) between 2020 and 2021, and will now replace Kubis to “lead” in this month “so critical”, according to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres.