By George Grant.
Tripoli, 28 May:
NTC spokesman Mohammed Al-Hareizi has denied that the NTC ever suggested that next month’s national elections would . . .[restrict]be postponed, telling the Libya Herald, “there will be no delay to the elections”.
Earlier today, NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil was quoted by Reuters as saying that the appeals process that will follow the vetting of all candidates by the Integrity Commission would result in a postponement.
“[It] all depends on the appeals process for the election candidates”, Jalil is alleged to have said. “This appeals process will result in a postponement of the elections”.
“He never said that”, insisted Hareizi. “As far as I’m concerned, the elections will happen on time.”
The head of the High National Election Commission (HNEC) Nuri Elabbar also insisted that the elections would go ahead as scheduled on 19 June: “There is no delay. There is no change to the date and we have not said anything”, he told the Libya Herald.
Controversy had already begun to emerge surrounding Jalil’s alleged statement, since it is the HNEC, not the NTC or the government, which has responsibility both for organising the elections and making announcements as to their timing.
However, both Libyan and international observers have privately begun to air their doubts that the elections will happen on time, especially given that the HNEC had extended the registration process by a week.
Some are speculating that the 30 June, or even in July before Ramadan, represents a more realistic target. [/restrict]