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World powers urge Libya to hold 'free' and 'credible' elections from December 24

By AFP - Nov 12,2021 - Last updated at Nov 13,2021

PARIS — World powers attending a conference on Libya hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged Tripoli to hold "free" and "credible" elections from December 24, when presidential polls are scheduled.

In a statement after the meeting in Paris attended by heads of state, government and foreign ministers, they also threatened sanctions against so-called "spoilers" who sought to impede the smooth conduct of the polls, seen as essential to Libya's future.

"We stress the importance for all Libyan stakeholders to mobilise resolutely in favour of the organisation of free, fair, inclusive and credible presidential and legislative elections on December 24, 2021," the statement said.

The holding of the elections on that date is seen by the UN as crucial for the chances of bringing in a new period of stability after years of turmoil.

But concerns have increased that the calendar was slipping due to domestic tensions, and the conference aimed to ensure that the elections remain on track.

It is unclear if presidential and parliamentary elections can both be held on December 24 as called for by the UN-sponsored plan, or the legislative polls could come later. A later part of the statement referred to an "electoral calendar starting on December 24".

"Persons or entities inside or outside Libya who attempt to obstruct, challenge, manipulate or tamper with the electoral process and political transition will be held accountable and may be subject to UN sanctions," the statement added.

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