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Libya : The process leading to elections is the way to solutions, elections are only a pretext to create the conditions of that process

Alwihda Info | Par Angelo Giampiero - 27 Septembre 2018

The upcoming Libyan elections, in December 2018, are subject of much debates and create dissensions between Europeans. It is true that, at first glance, the crisis situation in Libya suggests that tension should first be eased before initiating an electoral process.

Yet, for many years, it seems that the various proposed solutions have failed. We must therefore consider another method. Why not use the elections as a pretext for getting closer to the main protagonists? A little as if it showed to them that some arrangements in the distribution of the post-crisis roles would allow everyone to find his interest.

© DR
© DR
Already, on May 29, 2018, the four main actors of the Libyan crisis agreed to enter the elections in December 2018. This agreement was not imposed on them. It came after several negotiations to find common ground and a distribution of roles allowing everyone to have guarantees about his future after the election. In fact, it is a question of determining the place of each of them in terms of political, economic, financial and influence power, whatever the future administrative organization of Libya. This would be a win-win for everyone, provided that the rules of the game are respected to preserve the precarious balance of the process.

Because it is there that there is danger. Indeed, some groups can be manipulated by divergent interests to make this process fail. In the prevailing anarchy, it is tempting and easy to bribe militias to sow disorder and fail the agreement signed on May 29, 2018 in Paris. It is perhaps this type of temptation that led to the fighting in Tripoli for a month.

However, the agreement seems to hold. The four signatories respect the limits to their action that they have accepted. For the moment, no warmongering statements, no risky troop movements. But it is instructive to observe what happens behind the scenes. An ambassador could be replaced because of his risky role in the last crisis in Tripoli, some anti-election statements are less heard from foreign countries, some Nations suggest that they could be less involved in the Libyan crisis.

Thus, the Libyan protagonists, anxious to preserve a certain freedom of action, intend to lead the game in their own way, accepting outside support, at their request, without being forced to do anything. Some Nations, not having understood this Libyan point of interest, lose their will to impose their influence.

In conclusion, even if the electoral process is a hard bet to win, it is not an end in itself. It serves only as a pretext for creating the conditions for a constructive dialogue with, in the background, the representation of what Libya might be tomorrow. This method has the merit of agreeing the four main protagonists on their future role and of deciding the actions to be taken, in a coordinated way, to achieve this. Thus, this win-win relationship will move to the next step to stabilize the country sustainably.

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