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UN Envoy Rules out Holding Elections in Libya before Year’s End

UN Envoy Rules out Holding Elections in Libya before Year’s End

Monday, 1 October, 2018 - 05:30
United Nations special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame. (AFP)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
United Nations special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame ruled out on Saturday the possibility of holding general elections in the country before the end of the year given the violence still raging their.

"There is still a lot to do. It may not be possible to respect the date of December 10," he told Agence-France Presse.

Rival Libyan leaders agreed to a Paris-brokered deal in May to hold a nationwide poll by the end of the year.

But Salame said that polls may not be organized before "three or four months".

"We can hold elections in the near future, yes. But certainly not now.”

Militia clashes in Tripoli's suburbs have left more than 100 people dead since late August.

The Paris agreement included a September 16 deadline to come up with an electoral law, forming the "constitutional base" for a vote later in the year.

But many observers have said the timetable was overly ambitious given ongoing instability and territorial disputes across the country, along with an economy that is flagging despite Libya's vast oil wealth.

The United Nations is hoping that presidential and parliamentary elections will help turn the page on years of chaos in Libya.

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