Libya Tribune

By Ahmed Al-Daiekh

Perhaps the mishandling of Mr. Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of the Presidential Council for the current stage, lead him to a greater failure, which appeared in the form of an initiative that he advocated two days ago, July 15, 2017, in a presidential and legislative election in March 2018.

Sarraj did not achieve anything during his term of office, not in civil services, or in terms of improving the standard of the citizens living, not to mention his promises regarding the dinar exchange rate and the interruptions of electricity and cash flow problems.

Even at the political level, he failed in gathering the dispersed nation or in putting an end to the conflict in the country.

He relied on the high media profile that went on humming over the international recognition, or on the protocol observance of the state that he received during his visits and attendance to the summits and conferences.

Sarraj came out with a speech on July 15 to put the blame on the “Parliament, the High Council of State and the Central Bank” on the failure and deterioration taking place in the country.

Taking the consequences of the stage in which he failed to another stage more blurred, and throwing a ball of fire in the Libyan scene by calling for presidential and legislative elections.

I do not know whether Al-Sarraj is aware that it is impossible to conduct free and fair elections as it was intended for them to be, under the social division, civil strife, the lack of confidence and the spread of corruption, in addition to the duplication of authorities between the East and the West, this can not be portrayed as simple as seen by the President of the Presidential Council.

The holding of elections, requires a set of measures, which must precede any electoral process, due that holding an election under the division and fragmentation of state institutions raises questions over their success and undermines its integrity from the beginning.

Moreover, that this process – in which Al-Sarraj insists on calling it an election -if it is to take place- will be just another prelude to a new conflict and division and a new pretext for the opposing parties to continue fighting.

This was supposed to come after the activation of the political settlement as it was agreed upon, in which only one government exists, in accordance with other agreements reached between the parties, made up of the ceasefire, armed conflict, along with other items, including selecting sovereign position holders, which was a package of interlocking themes. The two sides agreed that the package would go in parallel with the president’s entry into Tripoli.

The call for elections can only take place after creating an atmosphere of freedoms and setting an appropriate political environment, which requires stopping political arrests and prosecutions, and in addition, releasing all political detainees wherever they were.

However, the call for elections at a time people fear for their lives is just like conducting a Sisi-style election.

The situation of fighting, division, and fragmentation must end before talking about any elections. Ending the division requires the elimination of the consequences of the division at all levels and wherever the split originates or has an effect, otherwise, we will remain trapped in a vicious cycle and will not exceed our attempts to be an ink on a paper, or wasting time, while having no impact on the ground that seriously needs decisive actions and sincerity of intentions.

Everyone must stop the prevarication policy that will relocate the crisis to a bigger and deeper situation, and instead, take the right direction towards ending the division, laying off all the bets, because the only bet that will exist is the unity of the nation and the unity of its institutions in a way that will guarantee its supreme interests.

***

Ahmed Al-Daiekh, Libyan political writer

____________