Libya’s Central Committee for Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE) signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday with Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections – acronymized as ISIE – to boost cooperation between the two entities and exchange experiences on local elections.
The memorandum was signed by Chairperson of CCMCEb Salim bin Tahia and head of ISIE Nabil Bafoun at the headquarters of the authority in Tunis.
The meeting was attended by Hasna Ben Sulaiman, spokesperson for ISIE, and Amna Zghandah of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
The MoU aims to strengthen relations between the two parties to develop their institutional capacities and enhance the credibility of the electoral processes in Libya and Tunisia, according to the CCMCE.
Despite the ongoing clashes in Tripoli since last month, the CCMCE managed to hold municipal elections in several provinces.
The committee believes the municipal elections will pave the way for Libya’s democratic process and presidential elections, which was originally set for late 2018.
However, the date was abandoned under a new initiative led by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to hold them in spring 2019. But after the renewal of clashes in Tripoli, it seems unlikely for Libya to hold general elections in the near future.
Libya has remained dogged by turmoil since 2011, when an uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving ruler Muammar Qaddafi after more than four decades in power.
Since then, Libya’s political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power – one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli – and a host of heavily armed militia groups.