Libyan parliament refuses to declare new date for delayed elections

Libyan parliament on Monday refused to fix date for presidential elections that were to take place last week. This has created uncertainty about the polls. 

The vote was set to take place on Friday. It was to be the culmination of United Nations-led efforts to drag Libya out of a decade of conflict since a 2011 revolt. But it was derailed by bitter arguments over divisive candidates and a disputed legal framework.

On Monday the parliamentary committee charged with overseeing the election presented a report saying it would be risky to set a new date at this stage.

That was a direct rebuff to the electoral commission which had suggested holding the vote on January 24.

The parliamentary committee is part of an assembly based in eastern Libya since 2014, reflecting the country’s deep divisions.

The committee recommended laying out “a new, realistic and applicable roadmap, with defined stages, rather than fixing new dates and repeating the same errors”.

The report, read to members of parliament by committee president Al-Haid al-Sghayer, also suggested setting up a committee to draft a new constitution to replace the one scrapped by dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 1969.

It also called for a reshuffle of the interim government of Abdulhamid Dbeibah, whose mandate was meant to end with Friday’s elections.

The parliament has yet to debate the proposals.

Dbeibah heads a unity administration based in the capital Tripoli, in the country’s west, and which was tasked with leading the North African country to the elections.

(With inputs from agencies)

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