The head of Libya’s High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) has ordered the dissolution of the electoral committees nationwide, in a move that effectively postpones this week’s presidential election.
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 election would proceed as planned. Some 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.