Libya’s HoR Speaker says will go ahead with presidential elections even if referendum fails

President of the Libyan House of Representative Aguila Saleh. MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images

Libya should press ahead with national elections even if voters reject a draft constitution in a planned referendum, the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aquilah Saleh told Reuters on Wednesday.  

“Because we want a constitution (based on) consensus this will take time… We need an executive authority and there is no other choice than (electing) a temporary president (if the draft constitution is rejected),” Saleh told Reuters in a weekend interview in his home town of Qubba in eastern Libya.

Saleh said the HoR could, if needed, secure funds from the Haftar-linked government in the east to allow the referendum on the draft constitution to go ahead.

If voters reject the draft constitution, Saleh said, a special committee should work on a new version. The current draft envisages a parliamentary system with two chambers but also with a strong presidency.

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