TRIPOLI – After a press conference and two meetings – one local security and military and another at an international level in just a few days – the UN mission to Libya appeared to be feverish and accelerating after a months-long political stagnation.

The recent mission was followed by encouragement from the UN Security Council for UN envoy Abdullahi Batili's initiative to push for elections, and the threat of sanctions against those who obstruct efforts to hold them.

"Individuals or entities who threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya or obstruct the successful completion of the political transition process – including by obstructing elections – may be sanctioned by the Council," the council said in a statement.

The statement endorsed the initiative of UN envoy Batelli to form a high-level Libyan election team, encouraged by the United Nations, to complete the progress of the democratic process and bring together political parties.

The Security Council stressed the importance of a participatory process that includes representatives of institutions, political figures, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, security agencies, youth and women, to help agree on the necessary steps to end the electoral process and finalize the constitutional basis and electoral laws.

The Council praised Egypt's role in facilitating talks in Cairo between the Libyan House of Representatives and the High Council of State.

Egypt.. Drawbacks and interests

The Security Council's praise for Egypt's role came despite the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's regret for what it described as "the Security Council's support for initiatives that undermine the role of legitimate Libyan institutions."

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that Egypt was informed of the issuance of the presidential statement on Libya by the Security Council, and that despite the fact that it welcomed the progress made at the level of the constitutional framework, the 13th amendment to the Constitutional Declaration and the recognition of the continued role played by the Libyan House of Representatives and the High Council of State, "it is regrettable that the Security Council encouraged an initiative aimed at forming a high-level Libyan team to follow up and prepare for the electoral process in Libya, in clear violations of the role of Libya's legitimate and elected institutions."

On the other hand, former GNA minister Habib al-Amin believes that the Egyptian role is to prevent the political solution from the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State, as they are the only guarantor of Egyptian interests.

The Secretary of the island net that "Cairo does not reject the entire UN statement, but expressed its welcome amendment 13, but refuses to get out of the matter for Aguila Saleh and Khaled Al-Meshri as exclusive implementers of him and producers of electoral laws, and refuses to involve others believe they may pose a threat to its interests."

In recent weeks, the House of Representatives and the High Council of State voted in favor of Amendment No. 13 to the Constitutional Declaration (Libya's interim constitution), becoming a constitutional basis through which parliamentary and presidential elections will be held to end the current crisis in the country.

"The fundamental question here is how will we carry out elections in accordance with the 13th amendment passed by the two chambers and welcomed by the mission and international and regional powers," he said. What about the powers of the proposed committee and its right to amend or bypass its provisions and reject them away from the authority of Aqila and Al-Meshri?"

According to al-Amin, "This is what Egypt fears and France, Russia and the UAE will be with it at a later stage if it senses any risks to its joint candidate."

Traps in the details

In turn, the director of the Center "Bayan" for studies Nizar Akrakish that the crisis is internationalizing, explaining to Al Jazeera Net that the issuance of a statement by the Security Council unanimously will be a factor of great pressure on Parliament and the State Council.

"Perhaps what happened in the Geneva agreement will be repeated, but international developments will be decisive, so if there is American and European pressure, it will be confronted by Russia by trying to push for laws that guarantee the arrival of its candidates such as Saif Gaddafi and Khalifa Haftar, and thus the details within the initiative will push everyone to wait and be careful," Akrakesh said.

The "booby-trapped" details, as described by former head of the political committee in the High Council of State, Abdel Fattah al-Shalawi, relate to the conditions of the presidential elections that the House of Representatives insists on.

Al-Shalawi does not rule out consensus, but expects all parties to try to catch up regardless of the differences, likening the matter to what happened previously with the former head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, where the first candidates opposed the elections that did not take place two years ago.

Al-Shalawi explains to Al Jazeera Net that "Batelli put the parties in front of a test whose results will be revealed on the date set by next June, but the issue of sanctions and who will be applied left open."

Political analyst Faraj Farkash believes that the issue of international support has become clear, especially from the West, which supports Abdullah Batili in his attempt to break the political impasse even if the two councils fail to engage positively in his initiative.

Farkash said he is likely to entrust the task of producing the constitutional base and electoral laws to the new committee, "even if a constitutional rule that guarantees the holding of presidential elections fails, I think there is a clear intention to go at least on the path of parliamentary elections that renew political legitimacy through a constituent body concerned with the issue of the permanent constitution and presidential elections."

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman accompanied by the UN envoy to Libya (social media)

Possible scenarios

Political analyst Faraj Farkash explains to Al Jazeera Net that the UN initiative may take 3 tracks:

  • The first is to embarrass the two chambers by placing them in a narrow corner and not allowing them to maneuver, in order to agree on a constitutional basis on which electoral laws are built.
  • Second: The unification and consensus of the active military and security forces in the east and west to prevent those who argue that it is difficult to hold elections in light of the security situation.
  • Third: Progress in the national reconciliation file under the auspices of the Presidential Council and the African Union.

"Professor" Batelli

Based on his long experience in political dialogues and the work of the UN mission in Libya, former parliamentarian Abdel Fattah Chalawi believes that these initiatives are thorny, and what is hidden from them is more than what is apparent.

Al-Shalawi cites former envoy Bernardino Leon's quote about "constructive ambiguity and the policy of booby-traps," explaining that Batelli "practiced with the parties the professor's method, setting the curriculum and directing them to follow it, and he will test them in June, ostensibly giving them the freedom to choose, while in fact restricting them, unless it is completed within years, a period of time does not exceed 3 months."

Inconclusive progress

As for expectations about holding elections or not, political analyst Abdul Salam Al-Rajhi says to Al Jazeera Net that "there is progress that can not be ignored in the political path stalled for a long time, although it is difficult to predict the holding of elections during this year as announced, but the steps of the mission and Western support for it may pave the way for its conduct, although delayed to the first quarter of next year."

Al-Rajhi predicted attempts by the bodies in power to obstruct any solution that might take them out of the scene if Batelli continues on this approach, unlike those who are outside the scene and try to engage in any new solution that may bring them some gains.