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Why do Libyans keep failing to settle their differences?

11 5 18

In a statement issued in the earlier hours of 20 June, Stephanie Williams, the United Nations Special Advisor on Libya, drew the curtain on the Cairo talks between Libyan rivals as they failed to reach an agreement on the constitutional framework for any future elections. The statement said "differences persist on the measures governing the transitional period leading to elections". It ended by calling on chairmen of the Libyan Parliament (HoR) and Tripoli's Higher Council of State (HCS) to meet within ten days to solve the impasse. No news so far on whether the two men, Aguila Saleh of HoR and Khaled Mishri of HCS, will actually meet.

The Cairo marathon talks, under Williams' auspices, between Libya's Eastern region-based HoR and Tripoli-based HCS, lasted for a whole week but produced nothing. Williams was hoping that representatives of the two institutions would agree on a few controversial articles of Libya's draft constitution to end the never-ending transitional period by organising elections in the country "as soon as possible".

By now, Libyans were supposed to have elected their president and new legislative, but the planned 24 December, 2021 elections were cancelled at the last minute because of HoR and HCS differences over issues like contestants' eligibility to run for president, among other trivial details.

No realistic Libya observer, including foreign diplomats, expected the Cairo talks to succeed since the HoR and HCS do not support elections in the near future because it means the end of their political careers.

Libya: Cairo consultations failed, says Constitutional Authority


© Middle East Monitor

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