The United Nations said the Libyan representative failed to agree on a legal framework for holding presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, putting an agreed road map to end the conflict there in jeopardy.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya said on Saturday that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), an organization composed of 75 members from all walks of life in Libya, concluded a five-day meeting in a hotel outside Geneva on Friday.
Participants in the UN mediation talks discussed several proposals to establish a constitutional basis for the elections, some of which were inconsistent with the roadmap for setting a December 24 vote. The delegation stated that others tried to create conditions for holding elections as planned.
The UN delegation stated that the members of the LPDF had formed a committee whose task was to bridge the gap between the proposals submitted to the forum. But the deadlock still exists.
“This is regrettable,” said mission coordinator Raisedon Zenenga. “The people of Libya will definitely be disappointed because they still long for the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights in the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24.”
The delegation urged members of the forum to continue consultations to agree on “workable compromises and consolidate what unites them.” It warned that “proposals that will not make the election feasible and that an election may be held on December 24 will not be accepted”.
“This is not the result many of us had hoped for, but given the options on the table, it is a better result,” forum member Elham Saudi wrote on Twitter. “This will only delay the fight, and will not solve the problem.”
Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina reported from Tripoli that the continuing differences between Libya’s major political groups proved insurmountable.
“This is a created body [by the UN] To help reach consensus and reach agreement.they [the delegates] It was intended to propose a constitutional framework for the elections to be held in December, but there are serious differences between them.
“Despite the appointment of an interim government in February, both sides proposed different candidates. Libya still has differences on how to hold elections in December,” he said.
More than two dozen LPDF members criticized the UN delegation’s proposal that the forum vote on proposals including keeping the current government in power and holding only legislative elections.
The US special envoy for Libya, Richard Norland, accused “several members” of the forum of apparently trying to insert “poison pills” by “extending constitutional procedures or creating new conditions that must be met” to ensure that elections do not occur. . Hold elections”.
“We hope that the 75 Libyans in LPDF will recommit themselves to giving the 7 million Libyans across the country a say in shaping Libya’s future,” he said.
Christian Barker, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged LPDF members to stick to the road map for the December elections.
He tweeted: “Any delay will open the door to dangerous situations.”
The interim government led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah appointment Earlier this year, the forum was caught in a vote on corruption allegations. Its main task is to prepare for the December elections in order to stabilize the divided country.
Since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising overthrew and killed the long-time ruler Gaddafi, Libya has been plagued by corruption and instability. In recent years, the country has split into a United Nations-recognized government in the capital Tripoli and a hostile authority based in Libya. The east of the country.
Each party has the support of armed groups and foreign governments.The United Nations estimated that at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries In Libya, this includes the Turkish army, Syrians, Russians, Sudanese and Chadians.
In April 2019, with the support of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the eastern commander Khalifa Haftar and his forces launched an offensive in an attempt to seize the capital of Tripoli.14 months in Haftar activity After Turkey used hundreds of troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries to strengthen its military support for the government recognized by the United Nations, Turkey collapsed.
Last October, a Ceasefire agreement The agreement reached led to elections in December and the inauguration of the transitional government in February. The agreement includes a requirement that all foreign fighters and mercenaries leave Libya within 90 days, but this requirement has not been met.