The U.N. envoy for Libya hopes another attempt to hold an election will take place by June after he scrapped a December plan, but said Libyans should first use a national conference in early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format. U.N. Special Envoy Ghassan Salame decided to abandon a plan to hold elections on Dec. 10 after a spike in violence in Libya, which has been gripped by conflict and paralysed by political deadlock since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Salame was speaking to Reuters before the start of a conference in Palermo organised by Rome with the aim of pushing forward a new U.N. plan. Salame said last week this plan would include an election in the spring, without elaborating.
At Monday’s interview, the envoy said this meant the vote would be held between late March and late June, but that the format of the poll would depend on what was decided at the national conference scheduled for early 2019.
“We want to ask at the national conference what type of election do you want, parliamentary or presidential, and what kind of law,” Salame said.
The envoy said the national conference should “preferably” take place on Libyan soil. He said surveys had shown that 80 percent of Libyans want elections to end the stalemate between Libya’s rival administrations, both of which are backed by armed groups.