Al-Bilad reviews Libyan elections and the latest on mercenaries

Al-Bilad program on Sunday raised two urgent questions within the Libyan political situation about what is the truth regarding the withdrawal of mercenaries from Libya? And: Will political parties participate in the December 24 elections?

“Libya’s Mercenaries”

The director of the Syrian Center for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, confirmed, in his intervention on the country program on 2218News, that “there is no withdrawal of mercenaries… and there are no numbers that have reached the Syrian territories, specifically the centers of the Turkish occupation or the regime’s areas”.

He continued: “There are some people living in the regime’s areas who only heard that there is a return of these mercenaries from Libya, but there is no information about their arrival, especially the mercenaries in eastern Libya.”

Abdul Rahman continued his talk, regarding mercenaries in the western region, by saying that he was in a personal conversation with the leaders of the armed groups in Tripoli, who confirmed: “So far, no one has started to withdraw.”

Abdul Rahman asked about the sources of information of the Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla Al-Mangoush, regarding the withdrawal of mercenaries, even if in small numbers, pointing out: “I wish the Minister of Foreign Affairs would provide us with information about these mercenaries and the areas from which they withdrew, and where they went? All so that we can monitor their withdrawal process.”

He added that: “So far, everything that is published about the withdrawal of mercenaries is nothing but a media withdrawal only, such as the withdrawal that was last March, during which the Turks announced the beginning of the withdrawal of mercenaries from Libya, in order to delude the international community of the Turkish desire to cooperation”.

He also said in the same context: “Last week, there was a process of switching mercenaries, not a withdrawal.. Rather, dozens of mercenaries left and dozens of others entered.. This process of switching has not stopped since the beginning of the year.. from Libya to Turkey and then to areas Turkish occupation in Afrin.”

National Charter Initiative

In another context, Al-Bilad opened the file of the promised Libyan elections on December 24, and the intervention of the head of Al-Tajdeed Party, Suleiman Al-Bayoudi, who stated that “the initiative of the National Charter is not intended to move towards elections,” noting that “from the reality of the Libyan experience, we asked the UN mission to formulate an initiative the National Charter is due no later than the middle of this month, and three tracks have been defined: the reconciliation file, the fair distribution of Libyan resources, and the referendum on the constitution.

Al-Bayoudi added that this initiative is a vision to present a national charter in Libya based on recognition of the results of the ballot boxes, acceptance of the results of the elections, a 5 + 5 committee, a military path agreed upon by the important parties on the ground… explaining that “this committee sets the road map to secure the elections and a road map to secure the election results, this initiative does not mean postponing the elections.”

Al-Bayoudi described the presidential election law, which was approved by Parliament, as “exclusionary,” because one of its conditions is to specify the age of the candidate, which is 40 years, and thus prevent a segment of young people from participating.

He justified this with: “For example, why is the age of the candidate not ( 25 years old..) However, we accept this law, which was adopted by the Commission and welcomed by the international community.”

Libya Elections

In the same context, Al-Bayoudi added: “We went through the elections experience in 2012, there were some problems, starting with the amendment of the constitutional declaration, and in 2014, we went to the elections with difficulty after several attempts, such as (no to extension), and in the year 2015, we saw the national dialogue and many of us did not count on that dialogue.. After that, the Sarraj government came and ruled part of Libya for seven years.”

During his speech, Al-Bayoudi warned that Libya falls under Chapter VII Resolution (1970) and the subsequent resolutions, and the international community recognized in the Security Council that there will be presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24. In the event of any delay, it will be under the auspices of the international community.

Regarding the question of the “Al-Bilad” programme, about whether the Libyan institutions have the strong will to organize and succeed the elections? Al-Bayoudi said: My answer is what the former envoy Ghassan Salame said that the election crisis in Libya is the absence of political will.

He concluded by saying that “there are those who want elections, but with a specific size that suits them and suits their system… and all those on the scene are under international pressure to hold elections… they really want to keep the status quo as it is.”

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