Libya’s parliament has revealed that its long-awaited presidential elections will no longer be held on December 24th as earlier scheduled, but in January, 2022.
What exactly is going on?
Libya was one of Africa’s richest and most peaceful nations until March 2011 when NATO forces ‘intervened’ and overthrew Gaddafi. The subsequent capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi left the North African country with swathes of arms and ammunition that were taken up by rebel forces who have now captured and continued to rule large areas.
Although the country’s internationally recognized administrator is Government of National Accord (GNA), Khalifa Haftar, a militia commander and his forces control much of eastern Libya. Scores of much smaller militias also control swathes of pockets of regions across the country.
As with many such situations, Libya has attracted increasing foreign interference in recent times. Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and even France have all thrown their support behind Haftar, providing financial, diplomatic, and even military aid. GNA, on the other hand, is recognized and supported by Turkey, the US and other Western powers.
The decision to go to the polls was a product of the intervention of many actors, with a view to restoring the country on the path to peace and prosperity.
What happens now?
The country’s election commission has not produced a final list of candidates for the presidential election.
Around 100 people indicated interest, including several high-profile individuals who many of whom were banned from participating — including the son of Muammar Gaddafi.
No one knows what will happen now, especially given how much external interference is at work in the country. The streets of Libya are swarming with the presence of thousands of foreign fighters and troops.
Now that the October 2020 ceasefire that gave way to the formation of a transitional government which scheduled elections for December 24 has technically fallen apart and the Parliamentary committee in charge of elections has said the government’s mandate ends on December 24, global election observers will have to wait and see
Enjoyed it? You may like this