Libya’s Parliament Urges for Single-Round of Presidential Elections


On Saturday, the Spokesperson for the House of Representatives (HoR), Abdullah Blehaq, stated that the Parliament forwarded its observations regarding the presidential and parliamentary election laws to the 6+6 Joint Committee, a joint initiative of the HoR and the High Council of State (HCS) tasked with shaping electoral laws.

He added that this comes after significant objections concerning key elements, including the mandatory requirement for presidential candidates to undergo two election rounds.

In a recent interview with Al Hadath TV channel, Blehaq highlighted the paradox of the current system. Under the present electoral laws, a presidential candidate might amass 90% of the votes in the primary round but still not be declared the winner.

Such candidates, as per current stipulations, are compelled to proceed to a second round.

Given this, the HoR is advocating for a modification allowing the possibility of determining presidential elections within the inaugural round itself.

Shedding light on the HoR’s authority, Blehaq remarked that the HoR does not have the right to modify the draft laws received from the 6+6 Joint Committee.

Nevertheless, he articulated the council’s ambitions of facilitating a smoother mechanism and establishing a mutual agreement. “Achieving universal consensus is a tall order. The focus remains on establishing concurrence on the fundamental issues, ensuring that the electoral outcomes resonate with all stakeholder parties,” the Spokesperson stated.

In his concluding remarks, the Libyan diplomat elaborated on the mandate of the 6+6 Joint Committee. The body is responsible for the formulation of such laws, after which drafts are relayed back to the HoR for enactment, all in alignment with the guidelines of the 13th Constitutional Amendment.

On August 2nd, Ageela Saleh, the Speaker of the Libyan HoR, emphasised the crucial nature of assembling a “unified government” to supervise the forthcoming elections.

On July 25th, during a session in Benghazi, the HoR approved a strategic roadmap for the upcoming elections. They outlined the criteria and nomination procedure for the Head of the unified government that will oversee the polls.

In reaction to this development, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) issued a cautionary statement, discouraging “any one-sided initiatives to address the prevailing political impasse.” This came after the mission had been informed of “the HoR opening nominations for the new government”— a statement the House swiftly refuted.

In a bid to elucidate its stance, the HoR clarified that it had “not initiated any nominations”. They further asserted that their roadmap decision was reached collaboratively, referencing a mutual agreement with the HCS, which endorsed the same roadmap on July 11th.