Head of Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC), Emad Al-Din Al-Sayeh denied that he did not wish to hold a referendum on the draft constitution, during an interview with the Fawasel Media Foundation.
Al-Sayeh added that the constitutional declaration obliges HNEC to organise all elections, as it is the sovereign electoral authority, and any talk otherwise is false. He stated that he had discussed the security risks that will accompany the referendum process.
Al-Sayeh confirmed that 7-months was a very narrow period of time to carry out its work, due to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya’s (UNSMIL) consultation on the upcoming December elections taking place in December 2020.
Al-Sayeh explained that HNEC needed more time to organise and prepare. He referred to the expiration of the 60-day deadline by the Libyan Parliament to adopt the constitutional amendments. “The international community, the elites, and the political parties outside the government are all pushing for the elections,” he said.
Al-Sayeh accused those currently in power of standing against the holding of elections. He emphasized that “the exit of one or two or even ten of the ninety electoral districts would not prevent the electoral process from proceeding and the results being announced. Although the referendum on the constitution will be nullified should one of the three constituencies leave,” he said.
Al-Sayeh accused the drafters of the referendum law of seeking not to pass the draft constitution. “Those who accuse the Commission of obstruction must also accuse those who write the laws. He explained that the processes of updating the electoral register will take place in the first month before the voting process, whether it is a referendum or elections.”
HNEC is currently planning to deliver voter cards through its 2,000 centers to all previously registered voters. This is a database of 2.5 million voters who will receive their cards early in the electoral process.