Western countries ask Libya to determine election day

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The United States and some European countries have called on the Libyan authorities to determine without further delay a final date for the elections.

The request came on Friday, two days after crucial presidential and legislative elections were canceled.

France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States called on the authorities in a statement “to respect the aspirations of the people for a swift election by quickly setting a final date for the ballot and publishing without delay the final list of presidential candidates “.

On Wednesday, the electoral commission canceled the elections which were scheduled for December 24, citing a lack of preparation and disagreements.

The vote was postponed until January.

The statement said it was important to maintain momentum towards the goal of holding “free, fair and credible elections” and electing a representative and unified government.

The long-awaited elections were to mark the war-torn country’s first step towards political stability.

Since a NATO-led intervention in 2011 toppled Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Libya has descended into chaos and civil war controlled by rebel armies and foreign fighters.

In March, an interim government was sworn in – replacing the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) controlling Tripoli and the western region, and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), led by the putschist general Khalifa Haftar.

Although Libyans eagerly awaited the elections which could pave the way for the political transition, various political factions and presidential candidates have had differences and disagreements over the mechanics of the electoral process and the conduct of the elections.

Western powers have declared themselves ready to hold to account those who threaten stability or undermine the political and electoral process in Libya, by designating UN sanctions.

They vowed to support the “UN facilitated, led and controlled political process.”

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