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The illusion of elections


By: Fadel Lamen*

The election is a competitive process between groups to exercise

Fadel Lamen
Fadel Lamen

power in a stable state. In a country suffering from war, division, and fragmentation, are elections that would just lead to more discord and dissent the solution? Did the first election held in 2012 heal the rift between Libyans, Libyans who fought amongst each other a year earlier? The outcome was the National Congress (GNC) that failed miserably and caused more conflict and division, lost more that 70 billions of people’s money, legitimized militias, and shattered what remained of old institutions.

The public rose up against the ineffective GNC and called for new elections, however, this time, it was to be without parties. This resulted in the formation of the House of Representatives (HoR), but still, no progress, all that followed were wars, the growth of terrorism, and disjointed organizations.

In this sensitive environment, the public is demanding new elections to save them from the results of the current failed elections, which were supposed to be the solution to the initial elections back in 2011.

Selling illusions to the public is not the answer, some might cheer for the fall of the Political Agreement (PA) and detest the participants. It is entirely within their rights, but don’t try selling them lies only to fail once again, work on filling in the gaps, building trust between civilians, strive for peace and end the war, face the danger and save the nation, then fight over power through ballots.

Who are you selling this illusion to? How will you hold the elections, will it be for three different governments in three different regions? Is the UN going to be involved, what if the UN decides not to back the elections and favors reconciliation and appeasement?

*The Chairman of Libyan National Dialogue Commission