Libya elections by June 2019, UN envoy tells Reuters at Palermo Conference

UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame. (UNSMIL)

The UN delegate to Libya hopes another attempt to hold an election will take place by June 2019 after he scrapped a December  2018  plan, but said Libyans should first use a national conference in early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format.

Salame was speaking to Reuters before the start of a conference in Palermo organized by Rome with the aim of pushing forward a new UN.plan.

At Monday’s interview with Reuters, the envoy said this meant the vote would be held between late March and late June, but that the format of the poll would depend on what was decided at the national conference scheduled for early 2019.

“We want to ask at the national conference what type of election do you want, parliamentary or presidential, and what kind of law,” Salame said.

Salame said he hoped the Palermo conference would put pressure on Libya’s internationally recognized parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR), which has refused to approve an election law.

“The HOR has been sterile, has produced no law … I think we need wider representation of the Libyans,” he said.

Salame also called on the central bank to unify the exchange rate of the dinar to the dollar to prevent armed groups with access to cheap dollars from selling them on the black market at a premium.

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