Libya electoral commission dissolves poll committees | Elections News

Move by Imad al-Sayeh, head of High National Elections Commission, effectively postpones December 24 vote.

Libya’s head of the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) has ordered the dissolution of the electoral committees nationwide, in a move that effectively postpones this week’s presidential elections.

A leaked internal statement by Imad al-Sayeh dated December 20 outlined six points, chiefly “the disbandment of electoral regional and local branch offices and committees”. A member of the HNEC’s board of directors on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the document.

There has been no comment yet from Libya’s President Mohammad Younes Menfi, who is in Cairo for a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina, reporting from Tripoli, said growing tensions in recent weeks within the country’s political and security apparatus had cast doubt on whether the December 24 elections would proceed as planned. Various observers have said they expected the polls to be postponed, but officials have shied away from making such an announcement.

“This is the first official sign that the elections are not going to be going through,” Traina said of the HNEC’s document.

“The head of the electoral commission has ordered for the electoral committees and the administrative offices to go back to their positions before the elections as if the elections aren’t going to happen,” he added.

“Basically what this means is that he’s told the temporary workers and the administrators in the polling stations to stop their work, to put away all the election equipment.”

Days before Friday’s polls, the election was already up in the air, with no official list of candidates presented to the public and no formal campaigning under way.

Disputes about fundamental rules governing the election have continued throughout the process, including over the voting timetable, the eligibility of the main candidates and the eventual powers of the next president and parliament.

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