Libya’s speakers in the eastern parliament approve

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Libya’s speakers in the eastern parliament on Thursday signed a law allowing a presidential election to take place in December, although another state body rejected the move, saying the legislation was flawed.

Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh has sent the law that would allow the December 24 presidential election to other political bodies and to the UN, the House’s spokesman said.

The High State Council, a body empowered by a political agreement in 2015, said Saleh had unilaterally enforced the law by using powers he did not have to “prevent the upcoming elections with the intention of issuing a flawed law.”

The presidential and parliamentary elections were mandated through a UN-backed political forum last year in a process that also led to the installation of a unity government in March.

The Eastern Parliament, which was elected in 2014, has not yet agreed on a law for an election to replace itself.

Its presidential election law would allow incumbents to remain in office as long as they temporarily left office three months before the vote.

Parliament approved the bill last month and sent it to the Legal Affairs Committee, but did not hold another vote on it before Saleh passed it as law.

Libya’s peace process has stalled since the unity government was installed, in the midst of waiting to agree on how elections will be held and over a unified budget, and there are doubts whether the elections will take place.

“It is becoming more and more unlikely every day. There is just not enough time,” said Tarek Megerisi of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Probable presidential candidates include Eastern-based commander Putist General Khalifa Haftar, head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), and Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of the former leader who was ousted and killed during a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

Fathi Bashagha, who was interior minister in the internationally recognized Tripoli-based National Accord Government (GNA) replaced by the new unity administration, said in a Tweet that he supported the new law.

“We urge all local and international bodies to support the law and complete the remaining procedures that facilitate the electoral process,” said Bashagha, who is also seen as a potential candidate.

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