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UN envoy says proposed Libya laws not enough to enable election

The United Nations envoy to Libya said, on Monday, that proposed electoral laws agreed upon by a committee of two legislative bodies this month are “not sufficient to resolve the most contested issues and enable successful elections”, Reuters reports.

International diplomacy has focused on pushing for national elections to resolve years of conflict in Libya but the country’s rival political bodies, whose own legitimacy has been repeatedly questioned, have failed to agree on electoral rules.

The envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily, addressing the UN Security Council, said failure to reach agreement on the main issues could “trigger a new crisis” and urged the Council to use pressure to push the main sides to compromise.

Problems with the proposed laws included disputes over the eligibility of presidential candidates and a requirement to create a new interim government before any vote, he said.

A requirement to hold a second round, even if a candidate won more than half the votes, and the cancelling of parliamentary elections if the first round of the presidential election failed were also contentious, he said.

Libya has had little stability or security since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising, and it split in 2014 between warring eastern and western factions but there has been little major warfare since a 2020 ceasefire.

However, efforts for a lasting political solution based on national elections ran aground in late 2021 when the vote was cancelled because of disputes over the rules.

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