Libya has failed to hold its first-ever presidential elections as scheduled in December, a major blow to international efforts to end decade-long chaos in the oil-rich Mediterranean nation.
A senior UN official has said Libya may hold elections by June, after the country missed a December deadline to elect its new president.
Stephanie Williams, the UN special adviser on Libya, told The Associated Press late on Sunday that it is still “very reasonable and possible” for the country’s 2.8 million voters to cast their ballots by June, in line with the UN-brokered 2020 roadmap.
“All the institutions are suffering a crisis of legitimacy,” Williams, who led UN efforts to end the latest bout of violence in Libya in 2020, said.
“I don’t see any other exit for Libya other than a peaceful political process.”
Williams urged lawmakers, who convened on Monday in the eastern city of Tobruk, to agree on a “clear, time-bound process with a clear horizon and to not create an open-ended process”.
“They have to shoulder a great responsibility right now to respect the will of the Libyans who registered to vote,” she said.
“Libyans want an end to this long period of transition that the country has experienced since the events of 2011
Interim government ‘not legitimate’
Meanwhile, the speaker of Libya’s eastern-based parliament has said the interim government must be replaced and he would launch a process to redraft the constitution.
The moves, announced by Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh as he entered the chamber in the eastern city of Benghazi on Monday, could delay by months any new election.
Saleh said the interim Government of National Unity (GNU) was no longer legitimate, a new government must be installed, and a new committee be formed to rewrite the constitution.
GNU spokesman Mohamed Hamouda said the administration “works according to a political agreement and a road map” and that it would continue to operate until the elections were held.
Libya has been ravaged by violence and insecurity ever since a NATO-backed uprising in the oil-rich North African nation toppled and killed ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.