Hopes High for 2018 Libyan Elections: Not Yet Ready for Democracy?

Written by | Friday, January 12th, 2018

Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s military strongman and the leader of the Libyan National Army said that his country was not yet ready for democracy as Libya is preparing for elections later this year in a move to put an end to instability. Mr. Haftar, however, said that the UN-backed poll would put an end to the chaos, which has been ravaging Libya since the 2011 toppling of Muammar Gaddafi.

Marshall Haftar, whose self-proclaimed Libyan National Army is in control of vast parts of the Libyan territory, has endorsed the elections. He is thought to run for the office as part of his so-called war against extremists and terror, though he also warned that he would not accept rigged poll and would, in that case, militarily take control of the country. The UN said that all Libyans could run for the upcoming elections. The UN had started planning the ground for elections in late 2018 in September last year with the aim to amend a December 2015 peace plan.

Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said the United Nations saw elections to be held in Libya later this year as a route to a “peaceful and inclusive end to the transition phase”, adding that “the goal is a Libyan goal: to end the transition phase with an inclusive peaceful process that produces a unified government that is a product of the will of the Libyan people.” The hopes for the 2018 elections are very high. The UN would like to see them stabilize the country, although holding the poll itself poses a risk of bringing even more division within the already complicated landscape.

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