Ready or Not, Libya to hold Elections in Spring

By for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Libya Business News.

According to the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Morocco on Dec. 17, 2015, Libya should have held its referendum on its new constitution as well as legislative and presidential elections by now.

By this time, the Government of National Accord (GNA) should have already been replaced by an elected one. The GNA was formed under the leadership of Fayez al-Sarraj specifically to achieve the goals stated in the UN-brokered deal that gave the country an internationally recognized government — but little else.

However, the second anniversary of the agreement has come and gone, and none of these goals were achieved. The GNA is still there after UN envoy Ghassan Salame attempted and failed to get the GNA in Tripoli and its rival government in Tobruk to agree to certain amendments to the agreement's core articles so it would be acceptable to both sides of the political divide.

And after three rounds of talks in Tunis in October 2017, political rivals could not agree on the proposed amendments, thus halting the political progress necessary to move the country forward to national elections.

Libyan strongman Gen. Khalifa Hifter declared in a televised speech Dec. 17, “The Libyan armed forces will never be under the leadership of any unelected body, but will always respond to the Libyan people’s orders.” Hifter did not say whether he will run in the upcoming elections, but he was clear that the GNA has failed and it should go.

But the GNA stayed, as the UN Security Council also issued a statement on Dec. 17 reiterating the council’s support for the GNA as the only legitimate government in the divided country.

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