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Libya’s UN-backed Sarraj calls for 2018 elections

Libya’s UN backed government called for parliamentary and presidential elections in March 2018, reports confirmed on Saturday, citing efforts to bring an end to the war-torn country’s conflict.

Fayez Sarraj, prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) urged for the elections, as well as a national ceasefire and the gradual unity of rival factions in Tripoli and eastern Libya, during a speech on Saturday.

Sarraj said he was putting forward the roadmap because of his “determination to escape the current crisis and unify Libyans”.

“I am confident that the national spirit will overcome the narrow personal interests, and invite everyone to offer compromise even if it’s painful to do so,” he said.

Sarraj arrived in Tripoli last year but has struggled to create a unified government despite international backing.

He came into power after a UN brokered deal in March 2015 attempted to stabilise and unite the war-torn country that has been rocked with rival militias and political factions.

Though internationally recognised, the GNA has competed with eastern-based factions aligned with UAE-backed military commander General Khalifa Haftar, who has rejected the government.

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