90% of constitutional referendum’s preparations complete: election commission

Voter registration for the constitutional referendum can be opened within a maximum of two weeks, as the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) awaits funding from the Government of National Accord, head of the HNEC Emad Al-Sayeh said Monday.

Al-Sayeh met with Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aguila Saleh at the HoR’s headquarters in Tobruk, where he informed Saleh that the commission has completed 90 percent of the preparations for holding the long-awaited referendum on the country’s permanent constitution.

Meanwhile, the HNEC is waiting for its LYD 40 million allocations from the Presidency Council of the GNA to finalize the voting process.

He said the commission did not commit any violations, emphasizing it is subject to international organizations’ observation. Al-Sayeh added that voter registration can be opened within a maximum of two weeks.

On 26 December 2018, Saleh called on the HNEC to speed up its work regarding the referendum. The HOR has referred the 45-article Referendum Law on the permanent constitution to the HNEC on 28 November 2018.

In a previous statement, Al-Sayeh said the preparations for the constitutional referendum could take up to the middle of January and that the referendum could take place by the end of February.

Libya remains divided between the U.N.-backed GNA, based in Tripoli and led by Faiez Sarraj, and a rival government in the east led by Abdullah Al-Thani and supported by the Commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Egypt, Russia, and the UAE.

The constitutional referendum will pave the way for Libya’s democratic process and presidential elections, which was originally set for late 2018. However, the date was postponed under a new initiative led by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to hold them in spring 2019.


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