Elections in Libya for a constituent assembly, originally set to be held by June 19, are to be postponed for logistical reasons, said electoral commission members.
One member said the postponement until July or later had been decided mainly to allow time for appeals from candidates ruled out of the contest.
“Several dates have been proposed, but most discussions are pointing to July 10,” he said.
Another member said the postponement had been decided in consultation with U.N. officials working with the commission who had “proposed a date during the first week in July.”
“But if we are not ready by that date, the election will be postponed for the month of August also, until after Ramadan,” he cautioned.
Rumours have abounded in the Libyan capital that the constituent assembly election would be put off, despite the authorities insisting it would go ahead on time.
More than 2.7 million Libyans, or around 80 per cent of eligible voters, have registered to participate in what marks the first national poll after four decades of dictatorship under Muammar Qadhafi, toppled last year.
The ruling National Transitional Council, having declared the country's “liberation” three days after the October 20 capture and killing of Qadhafi, launched a roadmap to a new Libya with a 20-month countdown to elections.
A transitional government was to organise within eight months the election of a 200-member assembly, or “general national congress.” The NTC is to step down once the congress holds its first session.