Libya should move towards holding elections by year-end: Egypt and France

Vastavam web: Egypt and France believe that Libya should move towards holding elections now that there has been “relative progress” in the situation in the war-torn North African country, a spokesman for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday.The United Nations hopes elections can help stabilise Libya, which was thrown into turmoil after long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.“This necessitates speeding up the holding of elections before the end of this year, taking into consideration that the situation in Libya affects the stability and security of the Mediterranean region as a whole,” Radi said in a statement.

Radi did not elaborate, but he appeared to be referring to less street fighting between armed groups in Tripoli and other cities in recent months.A senior U.N. official said in January that the United Nations was committed to helping Libya organise elections by the end of this year, encouraged by the rate at which Libyans have been registering to vote.Holding elections remains a major challenge, however, in a country still split among military and political factions, and where rival governments have claimed authority since the result of a disputed 2014 vote.

A new electoral law would likely have to be agreed on and a referendum on a constitution held before national polls could be organised.A U.N. effort launched in September aims to amend a December 2015 peace plan for Libya and pave the way for a vote, but has so far produced no deal on how to move towards one.