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Libya’s election collapses

Date: 27 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Elections that were planned to take place in Libya would not occur. The country is currently in a grip of violence and uncertainty.

 

Details

  • The country has been split into eastern and western factions after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 uprising.

  • Commander of eastern faction, Khalifa Haftar has undertaken a 14-month assault on Tripoli to capture the Libyan capital.

  • The western areas, including Tripoli are held by various armed outfits that have been supporting the government.

  • The UN had brokered an agreement between all the different factions to form a unity government consisting of all factions until elections could be held on December 24th.

 

The delay in elections

  • The factions, candidates and previous institutions have not agreed on election rules such as schedule, candidature and powers of president and prime minister.

  • As divisive candidates started entering elections, the rules formulated by assembly speaker were opposed. There is no consensus on such issues.

 

The candidates

  • Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gaddafi has announced his candidature but is not qualified as he was convicted of war crimes during the uprising.

  • Khalifa Haftar, a war-lord is not acceptable to other factions in southern and western front. Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah had promised not to contest election but has entered the race.

 

Other problems

  • There are chances of fraud and voter intimidation as many candidates are backed by armed factions. Elections cannot be held fairly.

  • Many attacks and raids have been carried on election commission. Voting cards and identity of voters have been stolen and judges being threatened.

 

Way ahead

  • The election commission has asked for a month’s extension for holding elections but parliament is likely to extend it.

  • Failure of peace process could encourage eastern faction to form a break-away government and fight against the recognised government in Tripoli.

  • There could be a new round of fight in Libya between rival factions if the agreement falls apart. Common citizens may be victim of such development.