Libya, Varvelli: “Wrong to fix the vote date, we need a new unity government”

Setting the date of the elections in Libya, without the creation of any check and balance mechanism, “was wrong” and the tensions of these hours were predictable, “with those who see themselves as losers” who “anticipated the times” to definitively block the step to the elections. This is the analysis made by Arturo Varvelli, head of the European council on foreign relations (ECFR) in Rome, in the aftermath of the action of some militias in Tripoli, which surrounded the headquarters of the government institutions in protest against the replacement of a military commander of their ‘protector’ capital. In this context, according to Varvelli, we should work on “a new government of national unity” whose priority should be to develop “wider electoral and institutional rules” for a more credible vote.

“In general – says Varvelli, speaking with Adnkronos – it seemed absurd to have established an election date without creating a check and balance mechanism capable of guaranteeing stability, guaranteeing that the winner of the elections, in a totally anarchic system , did not feel he was the godfather of Libya, with the right to be able to take all the loot and not to respect the defeated “.

What happened last night was more than expected, only “the times were brought forward” – waiting for the postponement of the elections to be officially announced next week – by “those who see themselves as losers and risk having to give up a slice of power” . In this case, some militias from Tripoli, who have taken the pretext of replacing the commander of the district of the military zone of Tripoli, Abdul Basit Marwan.

Libya, explains the head of the ECFR of Rome, “is a consociative state in which every warlord or political actor guarantees stability and a slice of power through corruption, illicit trafficking or extortion of public funds, but the elections risk compromising this system “. The “symbolic” date of December 24, Varvelli continues, helped the United Nations to pass the pro tempore government of national unity, but “the closer we got to that day, the more nothing was done to make these elections work”.

In this scenario, according to the Libya expert, faced with the impossibility of the international community and the UN to establish a new date, because it would be “counterproductive to do so while the mechanisms to guarantee the rights of those who lose” are still lacking, “we should work to a new government of national unity, which should start consultations for wider electoral and institutional rules for a vote with a clear mandate shared by most of the country “.

It would no longer be led by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who by applying “has partially compromised himself, but a neutral figure, a guarantee”, argues Varvelli, according to whom the premier would accept this scenario, because “in fact he has already excluded himself from the process for to be accepted by the international community as a contender in the elections “.

The expert’s belief, among other things, is that an Italian-style parliamentary system would be better for Libya, with a president elected by the parliament, which “can guarantee a broader balance”, rather than a French-style presidential system.

Finally Varvelli talks about the role of General Khalifa Haftar, who in these days seems to be regaining influence, “because, as always, when one moves from the political to the military, it becomes relevant again, with the chaos favoring the militias”. And of the role of Seif al Gaddafi, whose “influence has been overestimated, in reality his grip is very limited to some nostalgic areas and environments, the colonel’s son will never be able to represent the unitary future of the country”.