Libya is scheduled to begin elections on December 24 after a civil war overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising.

Turkey has supported political process in Libya which led Ankara to sign agreements with UN-backed government as renegade general Khalifa Haftar attempted to take over the capital Tripoli.
Turkey has supported political process in Libya which led Ankara to sign agreements with UN-backed government as renegade general Khalifa Haftar attempted to take over the capital Tripoli. (Ozan Kose / AFP)

Political progress and elections are the most important issues for Libya, Turkey's presidential spokesperson has announced.

In an interview with French public agency AFP, Ibrahim Kalin on Saturday also ruled out French President Emmanuel Macron's call on foreign powers to remove their forces from Libya.

"If you single out the pulling out of foreign forces... from Libya, as the most important, as the top issue, we believe that is wrong," Kalin said.

"Libya needs support for its political process, the elections, economic issues," he said in reference to presidential polls that world leaders expect to commence on December 24.

The North African country has been mired in civil war since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising. After warlord Khalifa Haftar's attempt to overthrow Libya's UN-backed government, it reached out to Turkey to sign an agreement that would bring it more support.

Underlining the military agreement between Ankara and Tripoli, Kalin said “We never accept to juxtapose our soldiers with mercenaries.”

READ MORE: Libya’s interim PM calls for sanctions on those refusing election results

Kalin said a continued Turkish military presence in Libya will help support political stability and security in the energy-rich state.

"Our military presence there is to help the Libyan army train," he said.

"We are there as a force of stability and help to the Libyan people. And our priority as far as security is concerned is to help the Libyans establish their united Libyan National Army."

READ MORE: Hundreds of pro-Haftar foreign mercenaries to leave Libya

Elections might be delayed

The head of Libya’s High Council of State said that next month's elections might be postponed by three months.

Khalid al Mishri cited disagreement over electoral laws as the main reason that could possibly cause the delay, in a comment provided to Anadolu Agency on Saturday,

Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place on December 24 under a UN-sponsored agreement reached by Libyan political rivals during meetings in Tunisia on November 15, 2020.

The oil-rich country’s electoral commission on November 8 opened registration for candidates in the polls. Tensions, however, have been ongoing between the parliament, High Council of State, and unity government regarding electoral powers and laws.

READ MORE: Q&A: Elections may take Libya back to square one

Al Mishri said the High Council of State "will not resort to force to prevent the organization of elections," but called for a boycott of the vote.

"If the turnout is zero in a number of electoral districts, this makes them legally void," he noted.

He also said the body he heads has submitted appeals to the Supreme Court to adjudicate decisions of the High Elections Commission, noting that the court "has the authority to consider appeals related to the decisions of the High Elections Commission."

READ MORE: Ten years after Gaddafi’s demise, Libya’s future remains uncertain

Source: TRTWorld and agencies