UN Libya election rules meeting to start without eastern parliament
Libya– The United Nations Libya Mission will start consultative meetings with legislators about election rules with representatives from the High Council of State, although the eastern-based (Tobruk-based) parliament has not yet named members to a joint committee for the elections.
Earlier this month, U.N. Advisor on Libya Stephanie Williams proposed an initiative to form a joint committee from the House of Representatives (HoR) and High Council of State (HCS) to hold the national elections. The meetings are part of an initiative by Williams to break a standoff between two rival governments in the country. Williams invited HoR and HCS to select representatives to participate in the committee to hold the elections.
The HCS has reportedly named its six members to the committee. Amid civil war, Libya split in 2014 between warring eastern and western factions. The HCS backed the western side while the HoR backed the eastern side. The U.N. mission said in a statement it expects the eastern-based parliament to name its representatives in the coming days.
Libya’s latest crisis
Libya’s latest crisis comes after the collapse of a scheduled election in December. Abdul Hamid Dbeibah was appointed in March 2021 as head of the United Nations-backed GNU (Government of National Unity). The east-based parliament declared that Dbeibah’s government expired when the election did not take place in December 2021. Subsequently, it designated a new administration and set elections for next year.
In March, the east-based parliament of Libya approved a new government. It had designated former interior minister Fathi Bashagha as the prime minister. However, Dbeibah refused to cede power until the elections. The move started the latest conflict in the country. Bashagha and Dbeibah hail from Misrata, a city in western Libya. Both have the support of rival armed groups in Tripoli. A date for a new election in Libya has not been set yet.