Africa Report: US Proposes Elections To Be Completed by September 2022; Dbaiba Pressuring for Extension – Al Marsad

An article by The Africa Report claims to have seen documentation that the US has proposed a “staggered Libyan presidential election” with first elections on 24 December and then the second round in Autumn of 2022. The article claims that this is a bid to salvage the Libyan Political Dialogue (LPDF) Roadmap, but news of this proposal is likely to cause anger among the Libyan public, most of whom demand elections after 2.8 million voters registered with Elections Committee.

(LIBYA, 29 August 2021) – The Africa Report revealed a proposal it claims to have been proposed by the US which it has  presented to the other P3+2 countries—namely, France, Britain, Germany and Italy— which “would have Libyans commit to 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 report said according to officials that the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid Dbaiba, “has publicly insisted that he wants to hold elections on time, although the UN-mediated roadmap would bar him and other office holders from running” but that “privately, he has resisted the idea and has pushed for an extension since  his appointment last February in in a UN-mediated dialogue.”

It also claimed that during a meeting in June with the French President Emmanuel Macron, Dbaiba was “forthright in his opposition to elections in December.” Furthermore, it said that Dbaiba has “also relayed the same message to other countries, although not directly to the US, which had insisted on sticking to the schedule.”

Furthermore, the Africa Report said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush that Dbaiba should stop sending “mixed messages.”

The report claims to have see a new US proposal that it “notes” opposition to the 24 December elections but certain parties and groups, and therefore “suggests that after the first round, the remaining candidates should complete lists of presidents, vice presidents and deputy presidents, if they jointly won at least 10% the vote in the first round,” and then they “would have to commit to monthly televised debates addressing the economy, pandemic and other challenges.”

The article said, the “US suggested the Dbaiba be allowed to run in the election, but that he, and any other office holder, would have to quit if he makes it to the second round.” According to the US proposal, the Parliament would have a month to decide on a “new interim executive” and an election on 22 September for a second chamber of parliament, and a constitutional referendum by the end of 2022.

Candidates above the age of 21 can run in the first round, but the new parliament would prepare a constitutional basis before the second round, according to the document”, said the report.

This proposal, according to the article, is opposed by both France and Egypt who want to see simultaneous elections on 24 December.

News of this “US proposal” was met with anger and ridicule by the Libyan public and expert commentators. Mohamed Eljarh, a leading Libyan analysts said on his twitter page: “Another disastrous proposal! this time by the United States. The aim is to find ways around the political roadmap/UNSC2570 & deprive the Libyan people of their right to choose their leaders in the hope of appeasing political elite/figures who refuse give up power.”