Libya to vote on new constitution by end February
BENGHAZI, Libya: The chairman of Libya’s elections commission said Thursday that the beleaguered North African nation will hold a referendum on a new constitution before the end of February.
The announcement by Emad alSayeh signals a small step toward restoring unity and political stability after years of chaos that followed the 2011 uprising. But authorities have yet to agree on a date or mechanism for presidential or parliamentary elections, and the security situation remains volatile.
Moammar Gadhafi ruled with an iron fist from 1969 until he was overthrown and killed in the uprising. Libya is now governed by rival administrations in the east and west and has become a haven for armed groups, including several from neighboring countries, that survive on looting and human trafficking.
“This process is not just a referendum on the constitution, it’s a referendum on the fate of the nation,” Sayeh told a news conference in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. “If it fails, everyone must be held responsible, not just the commission.”
He warned that the referendum, which would be the first in half a century, could be delayed if the election commission does not receive security guarantees and funds to organize the vote. –