Libyan presidential vote not going ahead, officials confirm

A Libyan parliamentary committee has said that it has become impossible to hold a long-awaited presidential vote on Friday as scheduled.

The widely expected announcement was the first official statement that the vote would not happen, amid mounting challenges and calls for a delay.

The country’s election commission had failed to name a final list of candidates, and disbanded electoral committees late on Tuesday.

Fears have been growing that a looming political vacuum will lead to renewed violence and economic chaos in the country.

Libya has seen a year of relative calm since a landmark October 2020 ceasefire after almost a decade of conflict and the UN has been pushing for elections as part of a multi-pronged effort to cement the peace.

Tensions have been building over whether the interim government of national unity can remain in office after its formal term expires on 24 December. Roadblocks and armed vehicles have also begun to appear in parts of the capital, Tripoli, and four major oilfields have been shut due to their occupation by militia.