Libya Announces June Election in Attempt to Preempt Civil War

Missile Fired at Parliament's 'Secret' Location

Libya’s electoral commission has announced a parliamentary election for June 25, in an attempt to stave off a growing civil war centering around the takeover of parliament Sunday by General Khalifa Hifter, and a growing civil war between his allies and the elected government.

The announcement came in the wake of what was supposed to be a secret meeting of parliament at an undisclosed luxury hotel, a meeting that was preempted by someone firing a missile at the hotel, sparking a panic.

Technically, parliament’s term in office ended on February 7, but no elections were ever held, and parliament decided to extend their term indefinitely instead of dissolving.

Gen. Hifter’s takeover centered on his objection to Islamist MPs, while the Muslim Brotherhood party condemned Hifter as a Gadhafi-era remnant, and several Islamist militias remain furious at Hifter’s move.

Though the election might conceivably give Hifter some pause, barring a miraculous turn-around for secular parties in the next vote, it seems the Islamist parties are still going to be a force to be reckoned with, meaning at best the vote may just delay Hifter’s crusade against them for a month.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.