Libya: The Muslim Brotherhood Escalates Campaign Against Elections

https://alarab.co.uk/sites/default/files/styles/article_image_800x450_scale/public/2021-12/17_2.jpg?itok=odSDB0MHThe Brotherhood in Libya escalates against the elections with a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Commission

Tripoli – A group of demonstrators affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya began a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Electoral Commission in the capital, Tripoli, to demand the postponement of the elections until a referendum on the constitution is held.

This reveals the Brotherhood’s escalation in the face of the presidential elections scheduled for the twenty-fourth of December, especially after they reached a consensus on positions with parliamentarians affiliated with the abandoned army commander and presidential candidate, Khalifa Haftar, regarding the postponement of the aforementioned entitlement.

The position of the Islamists in Libya against the presidential elections is not a matter of the moment. For years, they refused to hold them, justifying their position every time under the pretext of the necessity of a referendum on the constitution.

Video clips posted on social media showed the moment the protesters arrived at the commission headquarters and set up tents in front of it to carry out a sit-in, raising slogans “No to elections without a constitution.”

Libyan media confirmed on Tuesday evening that these elements belong to the Agniwa militia (affiliated with Abdulghani al-Kikli), the Zawiya and Misrata militias, which are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Observers believe that the Brotherhood’s escalation against the elections, which comes after calls from Brotherhood leaders to sit in front of the commission, reflects their lack of confidence that the caretaker prime minister, Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba, who is close to them and Turkey, will win the presidency.

Their fears increased about the defeat of Dabaiba, who launched a large-scale propaganda campaign, after the return of the candidate, Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, to the presidential race by a judicial decision, after the commission excluded him in the first stage.

Followers of the Libyan issue know that the Brotherhood opposes the presidential elections, which enjoyed wide international support before developments in the electoral process did not guarantee victory of any candidate completely loyal to them, especially in light of the decline in their popularity.

Parliament member Saleh Fahima called to stop tampering with the elections, saying in a Facebook post, “When you confiscate the opinion of the majority and impede the realization of their desires in exercising their democratic right, you have abandoned the peaceful expression of your opinion and entered the process of trying to subject the opinions of others to yours.”

Afhima stressed that elections are not a goal in themselves, but rather a means to reach political stability, adding, “Whoever accepts democracy as a way to rule and a way to reach it, must accept its results.”

This comes at a time when attitudes have begun to change regarding holding the presidential elections on time, as Parliament, which was one of the most prominent supporters of the aforementioned election, is seeking to postpone it in light of the recent developments.

This change in the position of Parliament, according to observers, reflects the failure of its efforts to counter the Islamists’ maneuvers regarding the elections, especially after those efforts had counterproductive results, as they contributed, for example, to the return of Dabaiba, who is close to the Brotherhood to the presidential race, like other candidates armed with legal loopholes, most of which are found in the election law. The president set by the House of Representatives itself.

On Wednesday, parliamentarian Ziad Daghim, who is known for his supportive positions for Haftar and the Libyan army, called for the postponement of the elections, which reflects the Brotherhood’s stance against holding the aforementioned elections on time.

Daghim said in a statement to the local “24 hour” website, that “the electoral process entered the recovery room and the parliament is trying to save it by forming a follow-up committee and communicating with the commission and the relevant institutions,” stressing “the need to renew blood in the legislative authority next February in two steps; The first is to hold parliamentary elections, even if partial, until a settlement is found in the presidential elections.”

He continued, “The second is the re-election of a new presidency in Parliament, according to the partial parliamentary elections.”

Prior to that, on Wednesday, the President of the Brotherhood’s Advisory Council of State, Khaled Al-Mashri, called for postponing the presidential and parliamentary elections to February.

Al Arab

Translation by Internationalist 360°