Libya’s election commission has requested that the country’s first presidential election, scheduled for Friday, be postponed for a month.
According to the commission, it proposed the new date of January 24 after “consulting” with parliament.
A parliamentary committee had previously stated that holding elections on Friday would be “impossible.”
The run-up to the election has been marred by disagreements over candidate eligibility and growing security concerns.
Libya has been in turmoil since long-serving dictator Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.
The United Nations and Western powers hoped that the election would boost efforts to achieve peace and democracy in Libya, a strategically important country that is a major oil producer and a transit point for migrants heading to Europe.
The United States, according to US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland, shares the disappointment of Libyans who wanted to vote.
Libyan leaders, he said, should “as soon as possible address all legal and political obstacles to holding elections, including finalizing the list of presidential candidates.”
The electoral commission had rejected Col Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, as a candidate, but his lawyer said a court had overturned the decision.
There was also no word on whether military strongman Gen Khalifa Haftar would run for president.
According to military prosecutors, the electoral commission should halt processing his application until he is questioned about allegations of human rights violations.
A court in Misrata, western Libya, sentenced him to death in absentia last month for bombing a military college in 2019.
Security is a concern in Tripoli, where armed groups took up positions in the city’s outskirts on Tuesday.
Four southern oilfields were closed on Monday.