The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) convened virtually on Wednesday and again on Thursday to discuss the constitutional basis devised by its Legal Committee for general elections that are supposed to be held on December 24.
The UN envoy to Libya, Jan Kubis, said in his opening remarks that the discussion at the virtual meting needed to focus on the constitutional basis for elections, as finalized on 3 May by the LPDF Legal Committee following its meeting on 7-9 April.
On Thursday, the LPDF members are still discussing the above points in order to finally vote for or against the Legal Committee’s constitutional basis proposal and to decide on the “Direct vs. Indirect presidential elections.”
Kubis told the LPDF members on the first meeting on Wednesday that Libyans thought that elections must be held on 24 December 2021 without any delay; and institutions should not overstay their mandate.
“There is widespread support for the holding of elections on December 24 and for freely electing new and unified Libyan institutions.” He added.
Kubis indicated that regarding the question of holding elections first versus finalizing the constitutional process first that while an overwhelming majority of people underlined the importance of the constitutional process, there was strong support, near unanimity on the proposal of holding elections first.
“They acknowledged that the completion of the constitution-making process would still require further consensus-building and a lot of time to address a number of contentious provisions.” Kubis said.
He also reiterated that as for the most important question of “Direct vs. Indirect Presidential elections”, some groups expressed a preference for direct presidential elections now, while others maintained that direct presidential elections this year will be too polarizing at this delicate time in Libya’s history.
“Moreover, they acknowledged that the country needs to have a permanent constitution or a constitutional framework, which will define the prerogatives and oversight of presidential powers and that this should be decided by a newly-elected parliament.” Kubis said, adding that the role of the LPDF to ensure holding of the elections on 24 December, to draft the necessary basis for elections, that would then be approved by the HoR, was viewed very positively.
Kubis stressed the need to create Conducive conditions for the elections and their inclusivity, including improved security conditions, providing the necessary space for political parties and movements, ensuring freedom and security for political activities for citizens across all regions, including the displaced Libyans inside and outside of Libya and enabling meaningful participation and representation of women, youth and the cultural components.
“Pre-agreement on electoral code of conduct and on accepting electoral results. This is an essential element for the political process. All political actors must be allowed to campaign freely, voters must be allowed to vote freely, and all must accept the results of the ballot box. Moreover, candidates must abide by the rules and laws governing the elections.” Kubis said.