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Salamé: It’s hard to hold Libya elections in December

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – The United Nations special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salamé, said it will be difficult to hold elections as hoped on December 10, following recent wave of fighting in the country. In an interview Saturday evening, Salamé told AFP: “There is still a lot to do. It may not be possible to respect the date of December 10” .

Rival Libyan factions agreed during a conference hosted by France in Paris late June on a declaration that would create a political framework to pave the way for U.N.-backed elections in December. However, a string of security incidents ever since, the last of which was recent clashes in Tripoli, have raised questions about the prospect of holding secure elections in the country.

“The violence and the continuing political and economic crisis make the Paris program difficult for elections as well as for other reasons”, said Salamé, citing the delay in the adoption of electoral laws.

The Paris agreement provided for the preparation of a ‘constitutional base’ before September 16, a deadline already not respected by House of Representatives which was called in particular to adopt a referendum law on a draft constitution.

According to Salamé, “the referendum could take place before the end of the year “. However, he said that polls may not be organised before “three or four months”, adding, “we can hold elections in the near future, yes. But certainly not now”.

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