Libya’s second national election since the 2011 ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi will go ahead next week despite growing political chaos, organizational troubles and the prospect of a low turnout, Reuters reports (HT: FPI):
Dismissing doubts among foreign diplomats that Tripoli could arrange the vote in only a month, election commission head Emad Al-Sayeh told Reuters that preparations for polling on June 25 were coming along well and staff were being trained. ….He said there were “positive indications” that the vote would go ahead even in Benghazi, the eastern city where fighting takes place almost daily between forces of renegade Geenral Khalifa Haftar and Islamist militants.
A Western diplomat said the government was adamant the vote should go ahead and noted that voting for a constitutional committee in February went ahead in most areas.
“There will be challenges to open polling stations in some places in the east and south,” he said. “The bigger question would be what will happen after the election, whether tensions will ease.”
The General National Congress (GNC) assembly decided in February to step down after its initial mandate had ended, bowing to pressure from voters who blame political infighting for Libya’s bumpy transition to democracy.