US: Elections Only Way to Break Political Impasse

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US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland called for elections to be held as soon as possible, saying “free and fair elections are the only way to break the political impasse in Libya.”

During an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Thursday, the US ambassdor said the elections could “take place sooner than many think.”

The US diplomat warned, “those whose actions undermine peace, security, and stability in Libya risk being subjected to sanctions and isolation.”

Norland noted that the current situation “is increasingly fueling instability, which no one wants.” He added that the risk of clashes between armed groups “appears very real.”

Notably, Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU) Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba said that the election law was the main obstacle to holding the elections on 24 December, “because the law was drafted to achieve the desires of a certain group.”

Dbaiba pledged to hand over power immediately after the election of a new Parliament, and a new government. He also demanded those who call for his resignation, also call for that of “the expired” legislative bodies as well.

The eastern-based Libyan Parliament announced the unanimous appointment of Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister on 10 February. But Dbaiba warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. Dbaiba has renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.