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Salamé: End of the year is a true possibility for holding Libyan elections

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

MUNICH – Libya should be ready to hold elections this year, with rival factions on track to hold a national reconciliation conference by the end of March, the United Nations envoy to Libya state said.

“End of the year is a true possibility” for holding parliamentary and presidential elections, UN envoy Ghassan Salamé said in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday at the Munich Security Conference. “It should be feasible unless something very negative happens between now and then.”

Salamé said there has been “a lot of progress” on bringing Libyan sides together during the past few weeks “but we are not there yet.” The national unity meeting should take place within the first three months of the year, after “the important stakeholders agree on a political compromise,” he added.

There needs to be a “clear commitment” by all parties “to accept the results of the elections” to avoid a crisis similar to 2014. Salamé said. “And this I hope the national conference will produce.”

Salamé urged foreign powers not to take sides. “The problem is that there are a number of actors who call for help from outside for themselves and therefore they complicate their own situation by not agreeing,” he said.

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