As Libya approaches its December election, the country’s former interior minister Fathi Bashaga who is a probable candidate, warned the government not to delay the vote.
The general election is set for December 24th, the 70th anniversary of Libya’s declaration of independence. The vote is crucial as the country seeks a return to peace and security but there are attempts to delay the polls.
“It is clear that the present government would prefer not to have elections. But this is a commitment which has to be brought to completion,” 58-year-old Bashaga told AFP.
“As far as the elections are concerned, the parliamentary and the presidential elections will take place at the same time simultaneously. And for the first time, the president will be elected by direct vote.”
Bashagha left the government in March but is still an influential figure. He did not explicitly confirm that he plans to run for the presidency.
Bashaga also said that Europe is responsible for the chaos that ensued after 2011 when the West intervened to help end Gaddafi’s four-decade rule.
It was announced Tuesday that Germany will host a new set of Libyan peace talks on June 23 in Berlin, with the Libyan transitional government due to attend.
The gathering aims to bring together powers with interests in the North African country and its transitional government.
The meeting is expected to take place at the level of foreign ministers and follows up on a first Berlin conference held in January 2020 at which leaders agreed to respect an arms embargo and push Libya’s warring parties to reach a full cease-fire. Germany has been trying to act as an intermediary.
The countries that have been involved in the process include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Italy, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Berlin conference will mark the first time that the Libyan transitional government is represented at such an event, the German foreign ministry said in a statement.