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Salabi calls for elections laws before polls - Libyan Express

July 19, 2017

Click here to read the article

Our Comment:


Fayez Al-Serraj, the chairman of the Presidency Council and prime minister of the “Government of National Accord”, proposed a new road map that demands holding parliamentary and presidential

 

elections in March 2018. The prominent Islamic scholar Ali Al-Sallabi is perfectly right in claiming that a suitable electoral law to regulate the whole process is a precondition for such elections.

Elections without a proper framework and conditions don’t make sense. There are numerous examples for this, from Bosnia-Herzegovina over Afghanistan to Iraq. Currently, in Libya the preconditions are simply not there. It must be stressed, that without the proper political framework and with a lack of
security in major parts of the country there is no reason to assume that elections would contribute to the stability of the country. It is very unlikely that the results would be accepted throughout Libya. Eventually, those elections could complicate the situation even more.

Since the end of the Revolution in October 2011 Libya had already between four and eight - unsuccessful - prime ministers, depending on how you count them. Three of them can claim somehow legitimacy right now. Without a proper framework in place, the next prime minster will fail, too.

Libya needs to be stabilized in a bottom-up approach, as the top-down attempts did not work. This could be done under the (interim) umbrella of Libya’s slightly amended old (1951 or 1961) constitution in four phases:

Phase 1: Ceasefire
Phase 2: Stabilization (including elections on local, district, and provincial level)
Phase 3: State-building (incl. framework for country-wide elections and a new constitution)
Phase 4: General Elections under the new constitution

It can be debated, if a final constitution is also a precondition for those elections, but probably an interim constitution is sufficient. However, after the final constitution is in place, new elections are mandatory.

Wolfgang Pusztai

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