The President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Muhammad Al-Manfi, said today, Friday, that the Libyan elections will take place on time, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that her country will remain committed to supporting Libya after its departure from power.
In a joint press conference with Merkel in Berlin, Al-Minfi confirmed that the government is following up its work to complete the transitional phase to reach the elections on time.
Al-Manfi added that the important points that are focused on are the unification of state institutions, especially the military, and the expulsion of foreign forces and mercenaries from the country.
The German chancellor said that her country will remain committed to supporting Libya, stressing that changing the German government will not affect Berlin’s support for Tripoli, and that Libya will remain a priority for Germany.
Merkel added that work must be done on the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya, and that foreign influence should not determine the future of Libya.
Negotiations in Rabat
In a related context, the consultative meeting between the delegations of the Libyan House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State on the election law continues for the second day in a row in Rabat.
The two delegations held direct talks yesterday, Thursday, on the first day of the consultative meeting in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.
The head of the delegation of the High Council of State in Libya, Omar Bushah, announced that the two Libyan delegations to the Rabat consultations are currently working on harmonizing their proposals for the parliamentary elections.
Boushah added, in a statement to Al Jazeera, that the two delegations would then discuss the electoral law related to the post of the country’s president.
In these two-day talks, sponsored by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, the two delegations seek to resolve differences and find a consensus formula on electoral laws and the constitutional base in preparation for the general elections scheduled for December 24.
Disagreements have emerged recently between the institutions of governance in Libya, specifically between the House of Representatives on the one hand, and the Supreme Council of State, the unity government and the Presidential Council on the other, especially with regard to powers and electoral bills.
The UN mission confirms the legitimacy of the government
These developments come a week after the parliament announced the approval of the withdrawal of confidence from the unity government headed by Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba, in a move that the Supreme Council of State considered invalid as it violated the constitutional declaration and the political agreement.
The UN mission in Libya said that the Dabaiba government remains with it until its replacement through a regular process following the elections.
The US ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, called for expediting agreement on the legal and constitutional grounds for the upcoming elections in Libya.
Norland stressed the need to launch the election campaign after a week or two.
At the conclusion of the first day of the consultative meeting of the Libyan delegations in Rabat, he added that the Libyan people will be able, through the upcoming elections, to choose their representatives and form a unified Libyan government.
Withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries
In the same context, Algeria stressed the need for the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya to be gradual, orderly and secure, under the auspices of the United Nations and in coordination with neighboring countries.
And she warned, during a ministerial meeting of the African Peace and Security Council on Libya, of the dangerous repercussions in the event of an unplanned and monitored transfer of mercenaries outside Libya.
During the meeting, the Libyan Foreign Ministry affirmed that the implementation of decisions and initiatives regarding the situation in Libya will only come by ending the presence of foreign fighters unconditionally.
The Libyan Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs said that a meeting will be held in Tripoli on October 21 to formulate a unified regional and international position on mechanisms to ensure stability.
For its part, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya urged the delegations of the High Council of State and the House of Representatives, meeting in Morocco, to seize the opportunity and proceed with completing the legislative framework for the elections.
In a special session of the UN Security Council yesterday, Thursday, it was unanimously approved in a vote on a British draft resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya until January 31, 2022.
The resolution is intended to give Council members more time to negotiate a draft resolution to introduce changes to the mission’s mandate and structure.
Jeffrey DiLaurentis, the deputy US representative to the UN Security Council, said that “the council failed to adopt a resolution that implements the recommendations of the Secretary-General, which stipulates the need to transfer the head of mission to Tripoli to increase engagement with Libyan actors before the elections scheduled for next December.”
The Russian delegate to the UN Security Council, Vasily Nebenzia, said that the council showed the international community’s support for the Libyan people by adopting a resolution renewing the mission’s mandate until the end of next January.