Libya officially delays elections

23 December 2021
The election commission had failed to produce a list of presidential candidates ahead of polls planned for the 24 December

Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC) has delayed presidential elections due to be held on 24 December by a month.

The commission has proposed that elections will now be held on 24 January 2022, pending approval from the House of Representatives, Libya’s parliament based in the east.

In a statement, the commission said that the house had excluded candidates, which prevented the commission from finalising its list of presidential candidates.

The publication of the official list of candidates had been expected at least 15 days before the election. It was postponed indefinitely on 11 December by the HNEC.

Libya has been plunged into uncertainty in recent weeks as the outlook for the elections taking place in December became less clear.

In late December, the country’s largest oil field, Sharara, was forced to shut after militants closed a valve on a key pipeline linking the field to the Zawiya export terminal.

It is understood that members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, a paramilitary group, closed the valve.

Sharara has the capacity to produce around 300,000 barrels of oil a day (b/d), and its closure may have pushed the North African country’s production below 1 million b/d.

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