Upcoming elections can be Libya’s only political solution: Saleh

The long-awaited presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled in December, can be the only way to unite Libya’s institutions and organizations and end political division, Aguila Saleh, Tobruk’s parliament speaker, said on Friday.

During a meeting with a delegation of the Libyan civil society leaders, Saleh said that only the Libyans can accept or refuse the draft constitution. He affirmed that the Parliament has faced a number of challenges during drafting several new laws, including the political isolation and general pardon.

The Parliament added new articles in the draft constitution, such as holding referendum to amend the Constitution, Saleh added.

Since Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster in 2011, Libya has spiraled into civil war between several parties competing for the power causing divisions inside the national army.

There have been two major factions on the ground since 2014; one led by Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), who now controls the eastern side of Libya in cooperation with the Tobruk parliament.

The other is led by Faiez Serraj, chairperson of the Presidential Council of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups took advantage of the conflict and established a foothold in the country, posing threats to Libya’s neighbors.

To put an end to the civil war and to establish a national unity government, an agreement was signed in December 2016 between the political factions involved in the conflict under the supervision of UN envoy Martin Kobler in the city of Skhirat, Morocco.

However, the Skhirat agreement failed to achieve its purpose because it lacked consensus between the two parties, as it was only recognized by the GNA.

In December 2017, Haftar declared the expiry of the agreement, refusing to recognize Serraj’s government.

“The validity of the so-called political agreement – and all the bodies emanating from it – has expired,” Haftar said.

He added that the Tabrouk government in the east will not submit to any party unless it gains “legitimate power.”

Hence, Egypt held several meetings with Libyan political factions to resolve the crisis and amend the agreement, most recently, the 7th round of negotiations in Cairo that produced the unifying draft.

Several international organizations and governments have been trying to help Libya to hold a presidential and parliamentarian elections as a first step towards stable and secured country.

Many Libyan politicians believe that the elections can the country’s salvation in the current stage.


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