Geneva meetings: Will there be enough concessions to move on in Libya?

Consultation meetings for a constitutional framework for elections by the Head of the High Council of State (HCS) Khalid Al-Mishri and Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Aqila Saleh started Tuesday in Geneva in the presence of the UN Advisor on Libya, Stephanie Williams.

The aim of the meetings on June 28-29 is to bring together the two chambers and try to reach a consensus on differences regarding the legal and constitutional frame for elections so that the issue of legitimacy can be resolved with the Libyan people’s free vote.

UN Advisor Optimistic

The UN Advisor said in her opening remarks that the meetings will discuss a final and important element which has remained outstanding during the constitutional talks in Cairo and that requires HoR and HCS leadership to reach consensus, which is the transitional measures: timelines, modalities and milestones to guarantee a clear path to the holding of national elections as soon possible, through joint work and a consensual outcome.

“I have witnessed an unprecedented level of cooperation between the institutions and you have now reached a critical stage of what has been a long and difficult path. It is now the time to make a final and courageous effort to ensure that this historic compromise takes place, for the sake of Libya, the Libyan people and the credibility of its institutions.” Williams added.

HoR Speaker Ready to Build Bridges

Saleh, on the other hand, said the meetings “are a chance for consensus among the constitutional committee members,” adding that the constitution should ensure freedom, social justice and civilian state status, according to the Libyan News Agency.

“The HoR is trying to prevail national reconciliation and using reason to achieving social security and dialogue. Elections are one of the preconditions of stability and a basis for consensus and rebuilding as well as a way to resolve the issues of the displaced and forcefully displaced people.” Saleh said.

Head of HCS Sets Attainable Preconditions

Al-Mishri said the electoral process requires “four preconditions” so it can be transparent, saying this is what the statement of the five Western countries have recently reiterated.

He said one requirement is seeing professional work by the High National Elections Commission away from political intervention, adding that other requirements include a halt to violence and inciting violence, and complete transparency in managing public funds to see revenues managed transparently and fairly, in addition to a fourth requirement: national reconciliation that is based on correct principles.

“National reconciliation should start with confessions and end with apologies and acceptance as well as compensation.” He said.

He added that the constitutional document they are working to finalize in Geneva is the first and major step toward holding transparent and acceptable elections with an accurate date for the vote, and reiterating HCS position in favor of holding elections based on consensual constitutional and legal basis.

Al-Mishri reiterated that the Geneva meeting requires courageous concessions from both sides and hoped all parties would back up the outcome.


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