Libya talks seek to pave way for December elections

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Libyan delegates met in Switzerland on Monday at the start of four days of UN-facilitated talks aimed at creating the legal conditions for elections in December, which they hope will usher in a “new era” for the North African country.

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Around 75 delegates are participating in the discussions, being held near Geneva, where they hope to agree on the constitutional basis for presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for Dec. 24.

Several delegates expressed optimism as the talks began.

“The intent is to reach a consensus that serves the country and takes us out of the crisis and achieves stability and gets the economy rolling again to start a new era where democracy, a civil state and justice prevails,” Majda Alfallah, a senator at High Council of State delegation, told the forum.

Warring factions have stuck to a truce since October and have all agreed to a temporary unity government and planned elections. However, there are private doubts about everyone’s commitment and myriad armed groups continue to hold power on the ground and might undermine the fairness of a vote.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that elections were the only way to ensure peace and stability in Libya.

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