Com­mis­sion sets Fe­bru­ary vote on new con­sti­tu­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

BENG­HAZI | 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 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 Libya with an iron fist from 1969 un­til he was over­thrown and killed in the up­ris­ing. The en­ergy-rich na­tion is now gov­erned by ri­val ad­min­is­tra­tions in the east and west and has be­come a haven for armed groups, in­clud­ing sev­eral from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries, which sur­vive on loot­ing and hu­man traf­fick­ing.

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