Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh has stressed the need for holding general elections in the country in December 2021 as per schedule. On Wednesday, Saleh held a meeting with Spanish ambassador to Libya Javier Garcia-Larrache in the eastern city of Gubba. During the meeting, he underscored the importance of holding the general elections in the country on time in accordance with the will of Libyan people and the House’s keenness to fulfill that will.
According to a statement issued by parliament, Saleh also urged all foreign forces and mercenaries to leave the Libyan soil. Furthermore, the Spanish ambassador also expressed support for December elections as well as withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
Concerns over delay in polls
His remarks have come a day after Libya’s foreign minister Najla Mangoush expressed concerns over postponing the December elections if the House of Representatives delays the ratification of electoral law.
Addressing a news conference in Algiers on Tuesday, Libyan foreign minister said that the government is ensuring all possible efforts to hold the elections on scheduled date of December 24.
“As a government, we have put in place everything required to move toward elections, providing financial, logistical and material support to the elections commission,” Mangoush said after a meeting with Algerian officials.
She asserted the government is still waiting for parliament’s approval for the electoral law, which could significantly impact the election schedule. She added that the Libyan government would be holding consultations with neighboring countries in the coming weeks to ensure the provision of high-level security during the elections in Libya.
Last week, Minister of state for communications and political affairs, Waleed Ellafy, extended concerns over potential problems in holding elections on time if the legal framework is not issued by the beginning of September.
UN seeks timely elections
On Monday, UN envoy to Libya Jan Kubis called on the Libyan government to finalize a legal framework to hold the planned elections by the end of this year. Stressing that time is running out, he highlighted that the members of parliament are still working on finalizing the electoral law.
“The (Libyan) government has taken the necessary dispositions to hold elections but we need a legal framework,” he stressed.
Amid growing concerns over postponement of the polls, the UN Security Council has called on the transitional government to ensure free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections in the North African country that are inclusive, credible and provide equal and meaningful participation to women and youth.