Libyan government says it is ready for presidential elections

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The Libyan government said on Sunday it was ready to hold the country’s presidential election as scheduled later this month despite uncertainty

Polls aim to help Libya overcome decade of violence [Getty- file photo]

The Libyan government said on Sunday it was ready to hold the country’s presidential election as scheduled on December 24 despite continued uncertainty that the crucial vote will take place on time.

“We are ready for the elections,” said Ramadan Abu Jnah, acting head of government since Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah announced he would run for president.

“The government has spared no effort to support the Election Commission (HNEC). We are fortunate to make December 24 a historic day,” Abu Jnah said.

Libya descended into chaos following a 2011 NATO-backed revolt that overthrew and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi

The December 24 polls are intended to help the oil-rich North African country overcome a decade of violence.

But the process was undermined by bitter divisions over the legal basis of the elections, their dates and who should be allowed to run, with a series of controversial figures stepping forward.

“No one should deprive the Libyans of this historic deadline and we will not let anyone do it,” Abu Jnah said at a press conference in the capital Tripoli, surrounded by several ministers.

He said the transitional executive was “ready to hand over power to an elected government”.

With less than fifteen days of the scheduled poll, the electoral campaign has not yet started and the polling body delayed the publication of a final list of candidates on Saturday.

Interior Minister Khaled Mazen called for the presidential poll to be held on time, and said his ministry had “done its job of protecting and securing polling centers” despite “obstacles”.

A year of relative peace in Libya followed an October 2020 ceasefire between the warring camps in the east and the west, but analysts have warned the violence could easily resume following the elections. .

An electoral law signed in September by the president of the eastern parliament, Aguila Saleh, has sparked anger in the west of the country, where many accuse her of exceeding protocol and passing legislation favoring the candidacy of his ally, the strong man Khalifa Haftar.

The following month, the eastern-based House of Representatives said that a legislative vote also scheduled for December 24 was postponed until January.

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