Libya delegates fail to agree on basis for December polls

An interim administration was established in March to prepare for elections but divisions have since resurfaced

Vehicles of the "Tripoli Brigade", a militia loyal to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), parade through the Martyrs' Square at the centre of the GNA-held Libyan capital Tripoli on July 10, 2020. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP)
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A day of UN-led talks between delegates from Libya failed to reach agreement on a constitutional framework to hold elections as planned in December, the UN said.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya said participants at Wednesday's meeting, held via videoconference, discussed four proposals, the contents of which were not disclosed.

“A final decision on the constitutional basis” for legislative and presidential elections would be taken at the next meeting, UNSMIL said, without giving a date.

The talks came six weeks after the failure of negotiations held in Switzerland between the 75 participants from all sides gathered for the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

UNSMIL acknowledged the failure of that session after four days, amid a lack of consensus.

Oil-rich Libya was plunged into chaos after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was toppled and killed in a 2011 Nato-backed uprising.

Two rival administrations later emerged, backed by a complex patchwork of militias, mercenaries and foreign powers.

Under a UN-backed ceasefire agreed last October, an interim administration was established in March to prepare for polls on December 24.

The deal was widely hailed as “historic” at the time, but divisions have since resurfaced, raising doubts that elections will go ahead as planned.

Updated: August 12, 2021, 4:21 PM