Confused Elections – Middle East Monitor

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Khalifa Haftar are running in the presidential elections scheduled for December 24, and the ensuing controversy added nothing else to the very complex scene in Libya, other than fueling fear. that these elections are not a way out of the aggravation of the crisis in this country, especially since it will probably be one of its new chapters.

Waiting to know the rest of the candidates and what will happen to them, as well as the results of the appeals that could be filed by one or the other of the candidates, will not change anything in the apprehension which accompanies these elections.

This apprehension was expressed by more than one party, Libyan and non-Libyan. I will mention here what two former international envoys in Libya said. Tarek Mitri said: “Everyone wants elections in Libya or claims they do, but compromises on power sharing and holding elections alone do not guarantee the country’s unity and peace, because it does not. not replace the unanimity of national objectives which prevent quotas, the agreement on a new social contract and the building of state institutions. Meanwhile, Ghassan Salameh says that “there is no worse harm to democracy than rejecting election results and trying to undermine them with violence. Examples of this are Iraq and Ethiopia today, and many countries before them, whose losers have rebelled against the ballot box regime. As a result, their countries were torn apart in civil wars or slipped into individual rule. Everyone loses in a match that ends with the destruction of the stadium. “

The reason for this pessimism is not only the continued division of Libyan political and security institutions between east and west, but also the absence of a minimum political consensus between the conflicting Libyan parties for the ballot. There is also the lack of a constitutional basis for these elections legally, as well as a large number of difficult questions that are still unresolved regarding these elections. Some of these questions were expressed by Hanan Salah, Libyan Affairs Specialist at Human Rights Watch, when she asked: “Can the Libyan authorities ensure an environment free from coercion, discrimination and intimidation of voters, candidates and political parties? could arbitrarily exclude voters or potential candidates, how can the authorities ensure that the vote is inclusive? Is there a solid security plan for the polling stations? Is the judiciary able to deal quickly and fairly with election-related disputes? Can election organizers guarantee that independent observers will have access to polling stations, even in remote areas? Has the High National Electoral Commission organized an independent external audit of the electoral list? She answered all these questions by saying, “Considering the situation in Libya, this all seems questionable.

READ: Will the Libyan elections lead to calm or chaos?

With the risk of holding presidential elections without a constitution because that would certainly mean the establishment of the reign of the individual “leader” after a bitter reign in this way for 42 years with Colonel Gaddafi, what worries the most is the international interaction with Libyans. crisis, because it does not only show a clear division between two camps which support one side of Libya to the detriment of the other. This is in light of the foreign forces and mercenaries who have not yet left Libyan soil. It is also a kind of acceptance to deal with these conflicting entities between the east and the west of the country, only because they are only parties with whom one can talk regardless of their legitimacy or their representation, while some harbor the chilling belief that Libya can only be ruled with an iron fist and under the leadership of one man.

Even the Paris conference, which was held recently and in which the countries concerned in one way or another by what is happening in Libya took part, could not untie the knots in the holding of the elections. or their postponement. He contented himself with threatening those who stood in the way, persons or entities, by imposing sanctions on them even though the previous sanctions had not proved their effectiveness, including what had been decided by the House of Representatives of the States. -United under the Libyan stabilization law.

One of the most dangerous things Libya could also face is that any questioning of the integrity of the elections or the rejection of their results can lead, once again, to the emergence of a government to the east of the country and another in the west. , after this duplication was eliminated with great difficulty by the government of national unity led by Abdel Hamid Al-Dabaiba. There are also fears of the return of the threat of stopping Libyan oil exports again. If foreign forces and mercenaries decide to support this or that party after the results are released, things can get complicated, and we can even get into a violent civil war with the presence of problematic candidates like Gaddafi and Haftar. The attack on some of the seats on the High Electoral Commission after their candidates were announced only heralded such a frightening possibility, which is further exacerbated by tribal and regional origins and sensitivities.

Could postponing elections be the solution? No one can be sure, but we know that the conduct of elections under the current circumstances is extremely risky, especially since the time is very short to address the issues facing its integrity. Amidst all the assumptions, the Libyans are holding their breath, as are the neighboring countries and those who love them.

READ: Libya: the former interior minister candidate for the presidential election

This article first appeared in Arabic on Arabi21 on November 17, 2021

The opinions expressed in this article are the property of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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