Libya postpones assembly election to July 7

Election official announces new date for vote to select members of body that will draft national constitution.

    Libya postpones assembly election to July 7
    A Libyan woman casts her vote at a polling station during the local council elections in Benghazi in May [Reuters]

    Libya has postponed its landmark election for a constitutional assembly to July 7 because of technical and logistical issues, the head of the electoral commission said.

    "The day of the election will be Saturday, the 7th of next month," Nuri al-Abbar told a news conference on Sunday. 

    The first elections since the fall of the country's longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi were due to be held on June 19.

    A Libyan official had told Al Jazeera last week that the country's assembly elections would be delayed until the first week of July at the earliest.

    Two hundred representatives are to be elected and tasked with drafting the country's constitution, but authorities say they need more time to vet candidates.

    The ratification process for the roughly 4,000 potential candidates was scheduled to be completed by June 6.

    Libya's former deputy election commissioner quit his post in May because he said he did not believe that the country would be ready for next month's elections.

    Sghair Majeri told Al Jazeera at the time that "holding elections by June 19 is a mission impossible" as vetting the candidates and printing and distributing the ballots across the country would take weeks.

    "That would need at least four weeks, which means voting cannot take place before the second week of July," said Majeri in May.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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