Bathily meets Aqila Saleh amidst dispute

UNSG special envoy Abdullah Bathily met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aqila Saleh, following political tension between the UN mission and the HoR recently.

Dispute between Bathily the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the HoR escalated over the previous week or so after the HoR leadership had agreed with the leadership of the High Council of State (HCS) on adopting a new roadmap for the transitional period, which included negotiating over the formation of a new government before organizing elections. A step strongly condemned by Bathily which he considered a “unilateral” maneuver by the two councils and perceived as an attempt to prolong the transitional period for political gains by current bodies in power.

In response to Bathily‘s comments, 60 members of the HoR claimed in a joint statement that the mission is misleading public opinion and undermining Libyan sovereignty. Saleh discussed in his meeting with Bathily on Wednesday the developments in the political situation in Libya, including the efforts made to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections, and the results of the Joint “6 + 6” Committee for the Preparation of Electoral Laws.

In the meeting, which was held in Saleh’s hometown of Qubba, the HoR Speaker again insisted on the need to form a new government in the country in order to hold elections. For his part, Bathily expressed the United Nations’ support for the Libyan efforts aimed at holding fair and transparent elections, calling on all Libyan parties to engage in dialogue and cooperation in order to achieve this goal.

Bathily had been assigned last September as head of the UNSMIL. He is the eighth diplomat to head the mission in Libya and the first African to hold this post. The main elements of UNSMIL’s mandate include providing mediation in implementing Libyan political agreements and supporting key Libyan institutions in the transitional period.

Source: HoR + Libya Alahrar


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