Wednesday, January 19, 2022

(Exclusive) US envoy pushes for Libyan presidential elections delay

(Exclusive) US envoy pushes for Libyan presidential elections delay

Richard Norland, the U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy to Libya, wants to postpone Libya’s presidential elections, which is scheduled to be held on December 24 along with the parliamentary elections, well informed sources told The Libya Update.

The sources, which requested anonymity, claim that the American diplomat has authored the U.S. proposal, leaked by The Africa Report on Sunday, which suggests holding a first round of presidential elections on 24 December, along with parliamentary elections, and then a second and final round on 15 September 2022.

The sources revealed that Norland’s proposal suggests that, following the first round, each presidential candidate nominates two vice-presidents, ensuring representation of Libya’s three main regions.

During the second round, each presidential candidate would include their vice-presidents in a list to be approved by the High National Election Commission (HNEC). On 15 September 2022, Libyan voters would head to the polls to vote on the presidential lists.

The proposal identified the main task for the new elected House of Representatives to be preparing a constitution for the country, to legitimize the second round of the presidential elections.

According to Norland’s proposal, the new parliament would establish two committees, one of them is a “Constitutional Committee” which would conven the Constitutional Drafting Assembly and arrange for a constitutional referendum. The other committee is a  “Constitutional Basis Committee” which would seek to address the legal framework for September 15 elections, in the event that the a constitution is not approved by the voters.

The sources pointed out that Norland claims to be pushing for this proposal as means of reaching a compromise between Libyan parties who support the elections and those who oppose it. However, the sources said that his proposal closely resembles the demands of “Islamist political leaders”, who are seeking to disrupt the presidential elections on December 24 by demanding to hold a constitutional referendum before the elections.

The U.S. envoy has allegedly presented his proposal to the LNA’s General Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the U.N. envoy to Libya Jan Kubis, both of whom have rejected delaying the presidential elections.