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Libya postpones presidential election at last minute amid renewed threat of civil unrest

In an interview in the capital of Tripoli late last month, the commission’s chairman, Emad al-Sayah, said voting is crucial to determining whether Libya “will continue on the track of democracy and peaceful devolution of power … or go to square zero, where war will take place.”

The first round of Libya’s much-anticipated presidential election will not proceed on Friday as previously planned, a parliamentary election committee announced Wednesday, solidifying expectations that the vote was untenable amid several political disputes, the Washington Post reports.

The delay, which was widely expected as debate rages over the validity of the process and challenges to certain powerful candidates’ eligibility, comes as tensions appear to be ramping up in the country, which is just emerging from a civil war.

Libya’s High National Election Commission proposed in a statement Wednesday that elections instead be held on Jan. 24, citing a range of difficulties it encountered in organizing the elections, including “the inadequacy of electoral legislation with regard to the judiciary’s role in electoral appeals and disputes.”

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