By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 16 December 2017:
Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter has demanded that the headquarters of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) be moved from Tripoli and its commissioners removed, a Tobruk member of the House of Representatives has claimed.
The Libyan National Army chief believes HNEC is infested with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Salhin Abdulnabi Al-Ghaithi is reported as saying.
HNEC needed to move its headquarters from Tripoli because it was uder the control of militias and tp “change its administration due to its inclination to political Islam,” Al-Ghaithi is quoted as saying.
The Tobruk MP who is also a member of the HoR’s dialogue committee, insisted that Hafter “has no objection” to elections provided they were under international auspices and according to acceptable standards and rules, and not hijacked by those who want the Muslim Brotherhood to win.
Following talks with Hafter, Al-Ghaithi reportedly said the LNA chief did not want the sacrifices of those who had lost their lives to go to waste through elections manipulated by the Brotherhood. However, the “people” remain the “decision makers”, he added.
His comments follows those to the Libya Herald by LNA spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari who insisted that Hafter wanted elections.
Allegations that HNEC is run by pro-MB individuals have been heard on numerous occasions although there has never been any evidence of it or any sign that elections in the past were manipulated in favour of MB supporters.
Despite Hafter’s supposed concerns, the president of the House of Representatives, Ageela Saleh, has expressed no objections to HNEC. N Tuesday, he met HNEC head Emad Al-Sayeh at his office in Guba where they discussed the proposed elections, the laws required to make the happen, and the various challenges ahead. It was the second time this year that the two had met, the last occasion being in March.
Asked if he thought that if reports of Hafter’s objections to HNEC were true, a senior elections official said they were. “He is not opposed to elections. But he want them to be run under his rules,” he said, “not anyone else’s rules”.