Panafrican News Agency

Libyan newspapers highlight race for elections, tensions before Paris Conference

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The announcement by some people of their intention to run in Libya's 24 December general elections and the continuing controversy over the legal framework and date of the polls, dominated newspapers last week.

They also focused on the posture of the president of the Libyan High State Council, Khaled Al-Mechir, a fervent opponent of the laws on the election adopted by Parliament, outlining his strategy to challenge them before the judiciary.

This is at a time when preparations are ongoing for the Paris Conference on Libya, which is intended to promote the holding of the elections and the departure of mercenaries, fighters and foreign forces.

The Al-Wassat newspaper reported in a story with the headline: "Launch of the race to the ballot box...and the electoral law is the object of discord", that the race to the electoral ballot box has begun with many aspirants unconcerned with the unresolved disagreements on the date of the elections and the related laws.

The newspaper referenced a publication by the High National Electoral Commission of the conditions for candidacy for the presidential election on its website, before bringing it down.

Meanwhile, a legal controversy has arisen regarding the right of Prime Minister Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba to run for president.

This is because of the rules of the roadmap that many, including his opponents, see as disqualifying him from running, according to the newspaper.

In the absence of a clear official position, Al-Wassat newspaper said that several sources have circulated his intention to officially announce his decision in the coming days, following arrangements he has made with the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Imad Al-Sayeh, among others. The sources say that his deputy will soon be tasked with directing the work of the executive authority of the government.

The newspaper said that what is now likely to pave the way for his political ambition hangs on Article 12 of the presidential election law.

Al-Dbaiba or the president of the High State Council, Khaled Al-Mechri and other personalities are not allowed to run in accordance with Article 12, which stresses the need for the candidate to have ceased to hold office three months before the announcement of his candidature.

The Marshal Khalifa Haftar, an aspiring presidential candidate, stepped aside since last September as head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to qualify to contest.

The newspaper mentioned a call by the UN Support Mission for the roadmap and its provisions to be respected.

This is against the background of a letter signed by 44 parliamentarians and 22 political parties accusing the High Commission of "resorting to foreigners, with the aim of imposing political and not technical amendments".

Afrigatenews said that the President of the State Council, Khaled Al-Mechri, reiterated the rejection of the laws adopted unilaterally by the parliament on the election of the president.

He said that the State Council has taken all legal measures against these laws and challenged them before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.

Returning to the Paris Conference on Libya, Al-Wassat newspaper said that the eyes of observers of the situation in Libya are turning to the international conference, which will be organised by Paris on 12 November to discuss the Libyan situation.

This is against the background of doubts about the objectives of France through this conference, and differences over the nature of the "undesirable" delegations attending the event.

French diplomacy began discussing the draft final communiqué of the conference, in which several invited countries participated via video conference on Tuesday.

This is against the backdrop of regional and international questions about France's ability to resolve the complex differences between the parties to the conflict in Libya.

What makes France even more doubtful is the admission by its president Emmanuel Macron, a few weeks ago at the Franco-African summit, that the French military intervention in Libya in 2011 was a "mistake", the newspaper said.

-0- PANA BY/IS/BBA/MA 7Nov2021