Libya’s crucial December election may face delay unless rules set soon, says official

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Libya’s pivotal December presidential election could be delayed if rules for the ballot are not agreed by early next month, according to an official.

The December 24 vote is supposed to cap a United Nations-led process to reconcile rivals and end a decade of conflict in the oil-rich nation following the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi. But crucial election laws haven’t yet been set.

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“If the legal framework isn’t issued by the beginning of September, there will be a problem holding the elections on time,” said Waleed Ellafy, minister of state for communications and political affairs, citing information provided by the national election commission.

Still, all sides were committed to holding the ballot on time, said Elalfy, who is also the head of a government committee involved with the elections. He said, however, he was optimistic the elections would be held on time.

The prime minister vowed last week the election would go ahead, even as foreign interference posed obstacles to the vote. Libya’s conflict morphed into a proxy tussle for influence involving the likes of Turkey, Russia, and United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

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