Crisis In Libya: Presidential Election Or Not?

Why does Libya periodically appear in the headlines? It’s a North African country with a lot of deserts. Yes, but it also is rich in natural resources, and other less blessed nations seem to gravitate toward those countries that can be useful to them.  We have all heard of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi who came to power in 1969  when he led a bloodless coup that toppled the government of the British-backed King Idris. He was in power for 42 years. In October 2011, NATO-backed forces overthrew Gaddafi, but Libya has been in chaos ever since.

The most recent attempt to have a presidential election was scheduled for December 2018, but it was delayed. The new timetable calls for the election in June 2022 in line with a U.N.-brokered roadmap. It remains to be seen if this summer schedule will actually materialize. The U.N.-backed government centered in Tripoli has very loose control over a third of the country. Libya is controlled in the East by a renegade general leading what is called the Libyan National Army which has tried and failed to topple the government in Tripoli. The whole process has been beset with self-defeating factors and implementations, including the failure to reach the required consensus on a framework for elections.

Without consensus about a way forward between the two rival governments, this long-awaited transition in power could be derailed before it even has a chance to begin. With help from outside powers, the two sides could return to negotiations and either agree on a new cabinet or chart a new way forward.

Let us pray fervently for:

  • The two factions BOTH see the need to give on some points in order to accommodate the other side and reach a consensus on the major issues (The Bible, Genesis 26:28).
  • The two factions agree on one or more outside powers to help monitor and oversee the election process (The Bible, Matthew 18:19).
  • Cool heads to prevail in all of the negotiations (The Bible, Proverbs 13:3).