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Faith Nyasuguta 

Libya’s election commission now wants the country’s first presidential poll, set to take place on Friday, to be postponed for a month.

The commission said it had proposed the new date of January 24 after “liaising” with parliament.

Earlier, a parliamentary committee had said that it would be “impossible” to have the elections on Friday.

For a while now, the run-up to the poll has been punctuated by disputes following the eligibility of candidates and ballooning security fears.

Elections in Libya /Courtesy/

For years, the African nation has been in turmoil since long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in 2011.

The UN and Western powers had hoped that the election would strengthen their efforts to achieve peace and democracy in Libya – a strategically significant nation that is a major oil producer and a transit point for migrants to Europe.

US envoy to Libya Richard Norland said the US shared in  the disappointment of Libyans who wanted to vote.

He noted that Libyan leaders should “expeditiously address all legal and political obstacles to hold elections, including finalizing the list of presidential candidates”.


The commission had turned down the candidacy of Col Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, but his lawyer said a court had toppled its decision.

It is also not clear whether military strongman Gen Khalifa Haftar could run for the presidency.

Military prosecutors had directed that the electoral commission stop processing his application until he was questioned over accusations of human rights abuses.

In November, a Mistara court in western Libya sentenced him to death in absentia for bombing a military college in 2019.

There are also concerns on the security in the capital, Tripoli, where armed groups took up positions in suburbs around the city on Tuesday.

On Monday, four oilfields in the south were shut down.

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Faith Nyasuguta