By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 26 February 2014:
Confirming that the re-run elections for the Constitutional Drafting Committee will be held today, Wednesday 26th, . . .[restrict]Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that his government had made all efforts to provide security for these elections.
Zeidan, speaking at yesterday’s press conference, was reacting to criticism from the head of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC), Nuri Elabbar, earlier in the week who had blamed the government for the failure of voting to take place in some areas.
On Monday, Elabbar had called upon the GNC and government to secure today’s Constitutional Drafting Committee elections.
Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Elabbar had also said that although the HNEC was determined to hold elections on time, this could not be achieved without the full support and cooperation of the government and the GNC.
If polling stations could not be secured, Elabbar had said, the elections would be stopped.
Security concerns and blockades disrupting delivery of ballot papers had prevented voting taking place in 81 polling centres last Thursday. HNEC then had 24 hours to announce a second date for voting, within a seven-day time-frame. It does not have the legal authority to call for a third round of voting and, if elections are not able to take place today, Congress will have to make a decision on how to proceed.
If elections could not take place on Wednesday (today), Elabbar had said that the blame would lie with the GNC and the government.
He had indicated that they were also responsible for the problems that hampered last week’s elections. Congress had failed to address the demands of ethnic groups, he said, which led to disruption of the elections in the two constituencies of Ubari and Murzuq, as well as polling centres in Kufra. Necessary security was also not provided for centres in vulnerable areas including Derna, he had added.