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Al-Mashri: Constitutional rule is a condition for the success of elections

The presidential race is a new event in Libya different from the parliamentary elections, says the High Council of State (HCS) Head Khaled Al-Mishri, who noted that the Council predicted from an early stage that the presidential elections would be a failure.

In a TV interview with Russia Today, the HCS head said those who wagered on the success of the elections in such circumstances have misread the Libyan scene, insisting that the reasons that led to their failure must be addressed.

“Holding fair and transparent elections is possible, provided that they take place on a sound constitutional basis with minimized risks,” Al-Mishri said, adding that the Libyans practiced democracy in the 2012 elections in full transparency.

The electoral process was spoiled, for several reasons, according to Al-Mishri, including the participation of controversial figures such as Khalifa Haftar and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

“Saif Gaddafi received a death sentence and failed to appear before the court, and therefore he is considered a fugitive from justice.”

As for Haftar, the HCS accused him of committing crimes against the Libyans in Benghazi and Derna and attempting to seize Tripoli by force.

He further insisted that Haftar still holds US citizenship and is serving in the military; therefore, all these legal and political backgrounds prevent him from running for the presidency, as he put it.

To emerge from the crisis, Al-Mishri suggested holding a referendum on the constitution, decreasing military confrontations, and establishing true reconciliation based on transitional justice and reparations.

He stressed the need to issue consensual electoral laws between the political parties, namely, the HCS and Parliament, in addition to codifying the electoral register and ensuring that elections are free of fraud, noting that indications showed 30% of forgery in the electoral documents.

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