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Libya State Council says still studying UN initiative for holding elections

March 6, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Libya’s High Council of State Khaled Al-Mishri gives a press conference in Geneva on 28 June 2022 [DENIS BALIBOUSE/POOL/AFP/Getty Images]

The head of Libya’s High Council of State (HCS) said, Monday, the assembly has not rejected a UN initiative for holding the country’s stalled elections this year, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“HCS is still studying the initiative of UN Envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily,” Khaled Al-Mishri told a press conference in the capital, Tripoli.

“There is a possibility of mixing between Bathily possibility’s initiative and the 13th constitutional amendment,” he added.

Last week, Bathily unveiled an initiative to establish a “high-level steering panel” that would be responsible for facilitating the adoption of a legal framework and a roadmap for holding elections in 2023.

The UN Envoy said the panel would advance a consensus around related issues, such as security and the adoption of a code of conduct for candidates.

Last month, East Libya-based House of Representatives approved a constitutional amendment meant to pave the way for holding the country’s elections.

READ: ‘We support Bathily’s plan to hold Libya elections’

The amendment includes 34 articles defining the new system of government and the tasks of the elected president and prime minister.

HCS, which acts as a Senate, was scheduled to meet to vote on the change, but failed due to lack of a quorum.

Al-Mishri said the assembly’s meeting was postponed “to give more time for consultations regarding the [formation of] the electoral law-drafting committee”.

Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when long time ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, was ousted after four decades in power.

The situation has worsened since last year, when the Libyan Parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, but the head of the Tripoli-based government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, said he will cede authority only to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.