Libyan Presidential Candidate Accuses Government of Thwarting Elections

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The Libyan presidential candidate, Fathi Bashagha, a former Interior Minister, accused the Government of National Unity (GNU) of obstructing the general elections. The elections were originally set to take place last month before it got postponed indefinitely.

Speaking during an informal event with tribal elders, Bashagha stated that there is a consensus between Libyans of various political allegiances to replace the interim government with a new one through elections.

He added that, “the Libyan elections would have almost been held, had it not been for the government’s endeavours to obstruct the holding of the long-awaited constitutional entitlement.

Bashagha stressed that the next government’s most important tasks must be holding fair and free presidential and parliamentary elections. He noted that “Libya must have a consensus government accepted by all Libyans, and not a totalitarian regime, whether it is military, civilian.”

The presidential candidate also noted that the next government should focus on enhancing national reconciliation, unifying the army and other security institutions.

He called for the need to move towards a decentralised regime of governing to provide services to all cities far from the center in Tripoli and to fairly distribute the state budget to all state municipalities.

“The problem of Libya lies in the successive governments’ failure to achieve justice and equity among the Libyan people,” he concluded.

In recent years, this has divided the country into two rival groups, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the East.

Libya was supposed to hold a Presidential election on December 24th, 2021, in a United Nations (UN)-led effort to end the decade-long crisis. The ballot was delayed indefinitely, after bitter arguments over divisive candidates and a disputed legal framework.

A myriad of armed groups and people traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the North African country.