Conversation with Ibrahim O. Dabbashi: “elections still being the only solution to the Libyan crisis”

By Vanessa Tomassini.

“Unfortunately, the country falls back into uncertainty while the Libyans were enthusiastic to go to the vote to elect their head of state for the first time. No one knows when or how the election process will resume. Libyans are disappointed enraged and feeling left out by the Authorities and the international community”. Tell us the former Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations and Presidential candidate Ibrahim O. Al Dabbashi at the beginning of this interview which intends to take stock of the latest developments in the North African country.

What are the main reasons for the election’s postponement?

The main reasons are the loopholes in the election law, the candidature of the Prime Minister in violation of his commitments and the intervention of the Judiciary to impose Saif Gaddafi as presidential candidate”.

Do you think that the option of going to vote on January 24 is still on the table?

“The twenty fourth of January is just a proposal by the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) and there is no indication that it will be accepted by the House of Representatives (HoR) which may take several weeks to agree on a new road map including a date for the elections.”

Some media reports a meeting between Aguila Salah and Khaled al Meshri in Morocco, what do you expect from this?

“As Aquila Saleh is on official leave to meet the election Law requirements, I doubt the meeting will take place, but most Libyans believe that no consensus on anything will be reached between the HoR and the HCS. They always agree on not to agree to stay in power.”

Tomorrow the Parliament will meet again, do you think the HNEC chairman Emad Sayeh will show before the Parliament?

“Emad Sayeh never refused requests by the Parliament and certainly not at this stage as HOR and HNEC are exchanging accusations on the failure of the organization of the elections.”

Do you think we are going toward another transitional phase? Who can appoint a new Government, is the Parliament or the 75 members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF)?

“I think the Parliament is too weak to remove the government of Mr. Dabaiba and appoint a new government, while the LPDF has been disrupted by corruption accusations and some of its members became high officials in the Government of National Unity, which practically confirmed the corruption accusations.”

What do you think of the meeting in Benghazi between Fathi Bashagha, Ahmed Maiteeq, Aref Ali Nayed, Khalifa Haftar and other presidential candidates in Benghazi?

“The meeting in Benghazi of some presidential candidates is a good gesture to show the Libyans that national reconciliation is possible and show the international community that nothing can divide Libyans even those who at certain stage raised arms against each other.”

What’s your position on the UK policy in Libya? And about Russia and Turkey?

I hope that all three countries and others understand that supporting Libyans against each other will not serve their interests on the long run and abide by the overwhelming desire of the Libyan people to see foreign interference stopped and foreign forces and mercenaries flown out of the country as soon as possible.”

What does the return of Stephanie Williams represent for you?

“I think it is a good decision by the UN Secretary General to revive the political process, but the continued division in the SC on her role and title can only weaken the UN role in Libya.”

There are many reports of a military congestion in the capital, what’s going on?

“It is difficult to understand what is going on, but the movement of some troupes from Misratah to Tripoli could be an indication that Mr. Dabaiba is not welling to leave power at any cost.”

A last word for the International community…

“I hope that all countries involved in Libya agree with the Libyans that there is no solution to the Libyan crisis without legislative and presidential elections, and the need of working together to make it happen as soon as possible.”

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