Libyan elections planned for December unlikely as legal uncertainty and civil unrest increase

Libyan elections planned for December unlikely as legal uncertainty and civil unrest increase

Today Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord is expected to outline additional steps to meet a deadline imposed by a

Ghassan Salame, U.N. Libya envoy, arrives for a meeting in Tunis

Photo: Reuters/Zoubeir Souissi

Today Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord is expected to outline additional steps to meet a deadline imposed by a 2015 peace agreement, seeking to establish legal frameworks to hold nation-wide free and democratic elections before the year’s end.

The existence of two rival governments in the country, the internationally recognised GNA and the Eastern-based House of Representatives, have made this difficult. Additionally, the plan comes as the national government, based in Tripoli, declared a fresh state of emergency this week. This was due to well-armed militias and other groups competing with the GNA attempting to seize critical oil export infrastructure along the Tripoli coast, which has pushed up the pricing of short-term oil contracts to Europe.

The inability of the GNA to secure Tripoli against civil conflict has severely diminished prospects for any elections this year. The UN and Western nations who backed the 2011 revolution against Gaddafi have shown little appetite to play a larger role beyond political mediation. As a result, it appears unlikely that the GNA can established control over large swathes of the country and implement the necessary constitutional and legal frameworks to administer fair and free elections.

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