Election registration begins

In the News | 01-05-2012

Voter registration opened on 1 May for what are set to be Libya's first national elections in more than 60 years. Due to be held on 19 June, the elections will appoint a constituent assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution and paving the way for legislative elections to be held in 2013. 

The elections are not just a key bellwether of the political and security situation in the wake of the 2011 conflict, but are also an important milestone in the return towards a functioning business environment - particularly when it comes to the public sector.

The majority of Libyan ministries, as well as the myriad state-owned funds or agencies, have been functional since the end of the war in October last year but largely preoccupied with a process of internal restructuring. Large-scale projects have been frozen and, for the most part, only those contracts deemed to be crucial to the post-conflict recovery - such as utilities, transport or healthcare - have been awarded. 

More importantly, the current set of ministers has only been appointed on a temporary basis and is expected to be replaced after the summer elections. Long-term strategies and plans are likely to wait until more permanent ministries are in place, and for that reason many companies will be keen to see the elections pass off smoothly and a greater degree of clarity return to a public sector which - as under Gaddafi - will be a major source of business opportunities in the new Libya.

Similarly, there will also be greater popular pressure on the new government to move ahead swiftly with promised improvements to everything from education to roads. Assuming that the elections take place successfully, with no major outbreaks of violence, the final quarter of 2012 is likely to see a sharp pickup in public-sector activity in terms of tenders and contracts. 

Written by: Libya Report