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The United Nations begins a new initiative to hold elections in Libya

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The United Nations envoy to Libya told the UN Security Council on Monday that he would launch an initiative to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in the North African country this year and set up a high-level steering committee.

Envoy Abdullah Batili said the mechanism will bring together representatives of political institutions, key political figures, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, security officials and other relevant groups.

Libya was plunged into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The oil-rich North African country has been divided for years between rival administrations in the east and west, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.

The country’s current political crisis stems from the failure to hold elections in December 2021 and the refusal of Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeiba, who led a transitional government, to step down. In response, the eastern-based parliament appointed a rival prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has been seeking for months to install his own government in Tripoli.

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