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Libya - Politics 2019

There are two main quasi-governmental forces vying for hegemony over the country: the House of Representatives (HoR), based in Tobruk and backed by Khalifa Haftars Libyan National Army, and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Libyan prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj and formed out of the UN Security Council-brokered Libyan Political Agreement. The LNA already controls vital oil installations in Libya's east, but its power struggle with the GNA has left the country's vast desert south a lawless no-man's land.

Russia, France, Egypt and the UAE support Haftar the warlord who controls much of the east of the country and who started the latest phase of the war. Backed by Sisis Egypt and the UAE, he launched Operation Dignity against the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated General National Congress (GNC). Turkey and Qatar have thrown their weight behind rivals to the eastern strongman, especially Islamist groups.

The African Union (AU) has requested the AU Commission to make effort to organize presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya in October, the AU said in a communique, released on 12 February 2019, following the two-day 32nd AU Summit, which was held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. According to the communique, the AU High-Level Committee on Libya requested the AU Commission to "take the necessary measures, jointly with the United Nations, with a view to organizing during the first half of July 2019, the Inclusive Libyan National Peace and Reconciliation Forum" and to "take, jointly with the United Nations and the Libyan Government, all the necessary measures for the organization of presidential and legislative elections in October 2019".

The head of Libya's internationally recognised government and a rival military strongman have agreed to hold elections aiming at ending years of instability, the United Nations said 28 February 2019. Unity government leader Fayez al-Sarraj met General Khalifa Haftar, who rules the eastern half of the country, in Abu Dhabi on 27 February 2019 and agreed "on the need to end the transitional phase through general elections and on ways to preserve the stability of #Libya and unify its institutions," the UN's Libya mission UNSMIL reported.

The leaders had agreed to a Paris-brokered deal in May 2018 to hold a nationwide election by the end of 2018. However, instability, territorial disputes and divisions in the oil-rich country delayed those plans. The United Nations tried to organize the first nation-wide presidential and parliamentary elections last December, however, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame warned the UN Security Council in early November that the deadline could not be met and suggested postponing the elections until next spring.

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Page last modified: 05-03-2019 18:40:22 ZULU