Libya’s future is uncertain as its political process derails.
The restive country’s presidential and parliamentary votes were slated for Dec. 24 last year.
Nonetheless, the Elections Commission postponed them, citing difficulties to holding the elections according to schedule.
This came amid high political and legal tensions and insistence by the Libyan parliament to end the mandate of the government of Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, and putting former interior minister, Fathi Bashagha in his stead.
This is tantamount to a repetition of political conditions between 2014 and 2016 when there were two rival governments in Libya, one in the eastern part of the country and another in its western part.
This opened the door for civil war, with the country’s rival executive powers working to assert their right to decision-making and ruling Libya.
Stick and carrots
Both Dbeibeh and Bashagha believe they have legitimacy, making it difficult for the current standoff to be resolved.
Hopes are now pinned on international mediation to bring about a breakthrough.
However, the belief is that this mediation cannot pay off so long as it does not possess enough force to commit the two rival parties to a solution.
Mr. Dbeibeh, for example, says he will not leave his post.
The US ambassador in Libya had reportedly contacted some of Dbeibeh’s associates, trying to enlist their services in convincing the outgoing prime minister to step down and hand power over to the prime minister-designate.
If he does this, the US ambassador said, Mr. Dbeibeh would be allowed to run in the next presidential elections.
A solution to the current standoff in Libya is unlikely in the near future, given the fact that different parties to the crisis in the country have their own international and regional benefactors.
This means that international positions on the crisis will have an impact on the way it will be resolved.
The United Nations suddenly announced support to Dbeibeh, causing confusion to Bashagha’s supporters.