Ex Libyan minister Bashagha warns against delaying election

Libya’s former interior minister Fathi Bashaga, who is a likely candidate in the December election, has cautioned the government not to postpone the election.

On December 24th, the 70th anniversary of Libya’s declaration of independence, a general election will be held. 

The election is critical as the country strives for peace and stability, yet there are attempts to postpone the vote.

“It is clear that the present government would prefer not to have elections. But this is a commitment which has to be brought to completion,” 58-year-old Bashaga told AFP.

“As far as the elections are concerned, the parliamentary and the presidential elections will take place at the same time simultaneously. And for the first time, the president will be elected by direct vote.”

Bashagha resigned from the administration in March, but he remains a powerful influence. He did not say whether or not he intends to run for president. 

Bashaga also claimed that Europe is to blame for the instability that followed the West’s intervention in 2011 to topple Gaddafi’s four-decade tenure. 

On Tuesday, Germany announced that a new round of Libyan peace talks will take place on June 23 in Berlin, with the Libyan transitional government expected to attend. 

The meeting’s goal is to bring together powers with vested interests in the North African country’s transitional government.

The meeting is expected to take place at the level of foreign ministers, and it will follow up on a first Berlin summit held in January 2020, at which leaders pledged to uphold an arms embargo and press Libya’s warring parties to establish a full cease-fire. Germany has attempted to act as a go-between. 

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as Italy, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, have all participated in the process (UAE). 

The Libyan transitional administration will be represented at the Berlin meeting for the first time, according to a statement from Germany’s foreign ministry.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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