General News

Conditions for elections not yet ripe: Libya PM

Date: Sep 12, 2018

Conditions in Libya are too unstable to hold elections, Prime Minister Fayez Seraj was cited as saying on Wednesday, casting doubts on a French-led push for a vote in December which aims to end years of turmoil and unify the North African country.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a conference in May where rival Libyan factions agreed to work with the United Nations (UN) for a national election by December 10, 2018. 

Libya splintered following the 2011 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-backed revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, and since 2014 has been divided between competing political and military groups based in Tripoli and the east.

“You cannot vote with instability in the streets it is necessary that everyone accepts the result of the ballot. We need shared rules,” Seraj, who leads the UN-brokered transitional government based in Tripoli, said in an interview with Italian daily, Corriere della Sera.

Armed groups have vowed to resume hostilities if talks to be hosted by UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame are note related to the vote. Seraj has close relations with Italy. His main rival, military commander Khalifa Haftar, is aligned with a government based in the east and is seen as closer to France.

Seraj also said factions would need to agree on a constitution before any vote is held.

--Reuters--

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