Can Libya have a democratically elected state soon?
libya– International community was watching in hopes the Libyan elections scheduled for December 24, that were supposed to bring order in the country. The anticipation has met a rather abrupt roadblock. The question now rises that can Libya soon have a democratically established polity?
Libya has been politically divided into east and west zone, governed by separate entities. General Khalifa, the leader of east Libya based Libyan National Army, was leading the offensive towards taking over the control of Tripoli from the internationally recognized government. But the attempts failed in 2020 as Haftar’s forces backed by Turkish troops and Syrian mercenaries failed to take over Tripoli. Ceasefire was negotiated in October 2020 under guidance of US diplomat Stephanie Williams who was appointed as the UN representative. An agreement was thus reached to appoint a transitional government in February 2021. A UN led roadmap was thereby drawn up under which the two rounds of Libya’s Presidential election would be held on December 24, 2021 and January 24, 2021.
In September 2020 House of Representatives Speaker Aguila Saleh Laws issued laws in September-October 2020 for conducting the elections. These laws were rejected by critics as they were issued without a quorum or vote in Parliament.
In 2015, an advisory body High State Council (HSC) was established through peace agreement. The body, however, was not recognized by the country’s political entities. In December 2021 beginning, issued the statement that the first round of Presidential elections, that are scheduled for December 24, must be delayed till February next year, citing differences over regulations governing the election process. HSC further added that the presidential and parliamentary elections must take place simultaneously on the same day as was initially included in the UN roadmap.
The uncertainty was thus raised as to whether the Libyan elections would take place as per the UN led roadmap or as per the laws issued by Speaker Laws or would be postponed as proposed by HSC. International leaders and the UN have maintained that the elections must proceed as the initial dates. It is definitely evident that people of Libya want the democratic elections to be conducted as early as possible. According to the media and electoral commission of Libya, thousands of Libyans had registered as parliamentary candidates.