Libya’s east-based parliament on Tuesday suspended its session to discuss the development of a plan for the holding of elections.
The Tobruk session on Monday and Tuesday represented a first effort by the fractured Libyan political class to chart a course forward after the elections were postponed over rule disputes.
However, Monday’s session was halted amid heated arguments after various proposals were presented to push back the election date, as well as to restructure the caretaker government and constitutional changes.
Tuesday’s session was to include votes on these proposals. The parliament spokesperson gave no immediate reason to suspend the session.
This leaves the future of the electoral process, the Interim Government of National Unity (GNU) and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah uncertain.
Dbeibah’s eligibility as a presidential candidate has been a major cause of disagreement in the run-up to the elections.
UN Special Envoy Stephanie Williams told Reuters on Monday that the main goal should be to advance the elections, which are desired by a majority of Libyans.
Simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections were crafted last year as part of a UN-backed political roadmap as part of a plan to end a decade of chaos and violence since the uprising of 2011 supported by NATO which overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
The parliament was elected in 2014, but split soon after, as the country split between warring factions from the east and the west, with most of the chamber relocated from the capital Tripoli. in Tobruk and supporting the eastern part of the conflict.
This week’s session was one of the few moments since 2014 that brought together more than 100 parliamentarians from across the fragmented political scene to participate in a debate and vote on Libya’s future.
Parliament declares British Ambassador persona non grata
Parliament declared the British ambassador persona non grata after Britain said the GNU remained valid and would not recognize any new initiatives to set up a parallel government, Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday ( AA).
Parliament spokesman Abdullah Belhaiq said British Ambassador to Tripoli Caroline Hurndall had been declared persona non grata and that they would advise the Foreign Office to initiate proceedings.
East-based journalists, politicians and pro-coup activists General Khalifa Haftar called on the government to expel the envoy, while their Tripoli-based counterparts supported and welcomed Hurndall’s statements.
Libyan experts note that the parliament’s decision is not binding and is only advisory.
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