Libya’s Promising Yet Puzzling Path To December 2021 Elections

Libya is considered a significant gas and oil producer. The country used to have one of the utmost living standards in Africa, with free education and healthcare. However, the stability which directed its prosperity has been devastated.

In 2014, a division occurred between an internationally recognized government in the west and a rival administration in the east. Only Libya’s countless armed militias are recognized to supposedly back the two centers of political powers.

Mohammad Younes Menfi, Libya’s provisional leader, has met with Denis Sassou Nguesso, the Congolese President in charge of the African’s Union’s committee, to discuss plans for elections in December in Libya.

The nationwide elections are supposed to occur on 24 December 2021, the day also of Libyan Independence day, an important and emblematic date for the country’s citizens. Even the West perceives the elections as a crucial step in efforts to Libya to gain back its stability, which since 2011, has been in chaos since the NATO-backed uprising and toppling of the country’s former ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

However, according to Speaker of House of Representatives Aguila Saleh, if the elections are postponed, the war-torn country will go back to “square one”. He also mentioned the possibility that a new rival government will likely be established.

Last year, after fighting the unity government and rival factions, the UN-led peace process led to a ceasefire. The government of National Unity (GMU) was formed in February and confirmed in March by parliament.

Saleh, however, has argued that the GMU was not successful in uniting the Libyan institutions and devolved into the “Tripoli Government”, demanding that it observes the obligations of the previous two governments.

UN-sponsored talks intended at paving the way for elections failed to find a mutual understanding. However, Saleh asserted that there is no need for the 75 committees to meet, as he said, “We have a constitutional declaration. We do not need to go around and waste time. No bargaining.”

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