Dozens of MPs called Libyans to take the streets after a parliamentary committee postponed the vote and suggested January 24 as a new date.
A Libyan parliamentary committee said that it has become impossible to hold a long-awaited presidential vote in two days as previously scheduled.
Wednesday's announcement was the first official statement that the vote would not happen on Friday, although it was widely expected amid mounting challenges and calls for a delay.
The committee suggested that presidential polls take place on January 24 instead, delaying the vote after the election commission disbanded electoral committees and failed to name a final list of candidates.
"The High National Electoral Commission suggests, after liasing with the House of Representatives, that the first round of voting should be delayed until January 24," the HNEC said in a statement on Facebook.
In a letter to Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, lawmaker Al Hadi Al Sagheir, head of the committee tasked to follow the electoral process, said the group found “it is impossible to hold the election as scheduled on Dec. 24.”
Sagheir said his committee reached its conclusion after “reviewing technical, security and judicial reports.”
He urged Saleh, who suspended his duties to join the presidential race, to return to his job so he could “mobilise efforts” to and help “re-draw a roadmap” to revive the political process.
Call for protest
Dozens of lawmakers have called on Libyans to take to the streets in protest over the failure of holding the election as planned.
Hundreds of people had put themselves forward, including several high profile ones who were banned from the race – including the son of late leader Muammar Gaddafi who was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
For nearly a year, the election was the lynchpin of international efforts to bring peace to Libya, and many have warned that either scenario – holding the vote on time or postponing it – could be a destabilising setback.