By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 11 July 2014:
There is no basis to rumours that preparations for direct presidential elections . . .[restrict]have begun, the Higher National Elections Commission (HNEC) has said.
HNEC insisted yesterday that it was not responsible for speculation in the media or elsewhere that it had been given instructions to lay the ground for presidential elections. The commission said it was still in the process of finalising results for the House of Representatives, adding that any further information about elections was only reliable if sourced through its official channels.
Preliminary results from elections to the House of Representatives, announced last week, are being scrutinised and appeals are being heard from interested parties, HNEC has said. Final results are expected on 20 July. That is when it will hand over the results to the General National Congress (GNC), at which point the transfer of power from the old Congress can begin, it added.
HNEC pointed out that the decision to hold direct presidential elections rested with the new House of Representatives according to the law passed by the GNC setting it up.
The February Committee, which initially laid out the plans for the House of Representatives, had initially envisaged a presidential election alongside recent elections to the new legislature. However, the proposal was dropped by Congress. It decided to that the House should decide whether a president should be directly elected or appointed by itself. The issue is supposed to be one of the first decisions it is to make.