Libyan Parliament Speaker & French Envoy Stress Need for Urgent Elections

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On Tuesday, the Speaker of Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh met with France’s Special Envoy to Libya, Paul Soler.

During the meeting, Saleh stressed the importance of completing the constitutional basis, and holding Presidential and Parliamentary elections as soon as possible.

The French Embassy said the talks “focused on the priority of Libya’s sovereignty, support for the dialogue between Parliament and the High Council of State (HCS), and support for economic dialogue between Libyans.”

Soler reiterated France’s support for Libyan efforts to reach a solution, without external intervention.

The Special Envoy had met with a number of senior officials during his recent visit to Libya. This included the Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA); Khalifa Haftar, the Head of the Presidential Council; Mohamed Al-Mnifi, the Head of the HCS; Khaled Al-Mishri, and the Chairman of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC); Emad Al-Sayeh.

On Wednesday, the acting Head of UNSMIL Raisedon Zenenga stressed that there is no military solution to the electoral and executive impasse. “The Libyan people have made clear their aspiration to choose their leaders and renew the legitimacy of Libyan institutions through democratic elections.”

He added that the United Nations’ priority, therefore, is to work with all Libyan parties to facilitate an agreement on a pathway to national elections as soon as possible.

Zenenga called on parties to resolve disputes through dialogue, reiterating that the current political impasse can only be resolved through inclusive national elections that enable the Libyan people to choose their leaders and renew the legitimacy of institutions.

“Libyan leaders must agree on a pathway to elections without delay,” the UN Mission concluded.

Libya is again politically torn between two rival governments, in the east and west. The Libyan Parliament-designated Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, and incumbent PM Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, who refuses to relinquish power until elections.

Tensions have been rising for months in Libya as the two leaders vie for power; raising fears of renewed conflict two years after a landmark truce.

The UN has been pushing the rival parties to hold elections, in order to resolve the legitimacy crisis.