Libyan Elections Committee: Constitutional Referendum Can Delay Elections to the End of 2022


On Saturday, the Chairman of Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC), Emad al-Sayeh, said that if the constitution passes, the elections will be held at the end of 2022, not 2021. This is due to the lack of time available and the difficulty of the electoral process, which he described as the largest logistical operation after the wars.

In press statements, Al-Sayeh added that if the referendum on the draft constitution passes, this will create an 11-month preliminary stage after the transitional phase for its approval and implementation. 3 of the 11 months will be devoted to reconstituting the HNEC’s council and drafting laws. He pointed out that if one of the three regions voted “no,” it might take more years.

Al-Sayeh indicated that the constitutional path differs from the path of the transitional phase, as the referendum takes place between three constituencies, East, West and South. Furthermore, if any of them reject the draft, the process will be nullified and repeated. He explained that if one of the constituencies exits in the general elections, it does not harm the operation.

He went on saying that if the vote is “no,” then the constitution returns to the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) and within 30 days the HNEC will work on amendments over a period of 3 years (2014-2017), noting that this is impossible.

Al-Sayeh said that, “the referendum on the constitution means that the current authority will continue its work until it is approved and enters the implementation phase, and this takes a long time.”