Libyan delegates did not agree on a legal framework for holding presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, the United Nations said, jeopardizing an agreed road map.
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), a 75-member body of all walks of life in Libya, concluded five days of discussions in a hotel outside Geneva on Friday, the UN support mission in Libya has said Saturday.
Participants in UN-sponsored discussions discussed several proposals for a constitutional basis for elections, including some that were inconsistent with the roadmap that set the vote for Dec. 24. Others have sought to establish the conditions for holding elections as planned, the mission said.
The UN mission said members of the LPDF had created a committee tasked with bridging the gap between the proposals put before the forum. But the block was off.
“It is unfortunate,” said Raisedon Zenenga, the mission coordinator. “The people of Libya will surely feel left out as they still aspire to the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights in the December 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.”
The mission encouraged forum members to continue consultations to agree on “a workable compromise and cement what unites them.” He warned that proposals that “do not make elections feasible and possible to hold elections on December 24 will not be divergent.”
“This is not the result that many of us had hoped for, but it is the best result given the options that were on the table,” wrote Elham Saudi, a forum member on Twitter. “This only delays the battle, but it doesn’t solve the problems.”
Reporting from Tripoli, Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina said the ongoing divisions between Libya’s main political groups have proved insurmountable.
“This was a created body [by the UN] to help reach a consensus and reach an agreement. Iddi [the delegates] they were destined to come up with a constitutional framework for the elections to be held in December but are deeply divided.
“Despite the name of an interim government in February, each party has a different candidate. Libya is still divided on how to hold elections in December, ”he said.
More than two dozen LPDF members have criticized the UN mission for its proposal that the forum vote on suggestions that included keeping the current government in power and holding only legislative elections.
Richard Norland, the U.S. special envoy for Libya, has accused “several members” of the forum of apparently trying to insert “poison pills” to ensure elections do not happen “or prolong the constitutional process. nor by creating new conditions that must be met for elections to take place. ”
“We hope that the 75 Libyans in the LPDF will once again be dedicated to enabling the 7 million Libyans across the country to have a voice in changing the future of Libya,” he said.
Christian Buck, director of the Middle East and North Africa at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, encouraged LPDF members to follow the December election roadmap.
“Every return opens the door to dangerous scenarios,” he tweeted.
The road is difficult
The interim government, led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, was nominated from the forum earlier this year in a vote embroiled in corruption allegations. His main mandate is to prepare the country for the December elections with the hope of stabilizing the divided nation.
Libya has been plagued by corruption and turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising killed and killed former governor Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In recent years, the country has been split between a UN-recognized government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east of the country.
Each party was supported by armed groups and foreign governments. The UN estimated in December that there were at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, including Turkish, Syrian, Russian, Sudanese and Chadian troops.
In April 2019, Eastern Commander Khalifa Haftar and his forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive to try to capture the capital, Tripoli. 14 months of Haftar countryside it fell after Turkey reinforced its military support for the UN-recognized government with hundreds of troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.
Last October, a agreement to cease fire it has been reached that has led to an agreement on the December elections and a transitional government that has taken office in February. The agreement included a request that all foreign fighters and mercenaries leave Libya in 90 days, but this request has not yet been met.