UN envoy tells Security Council: Elections needed in Libya as signs of partition grow

The UN special envoy for Libya warned on Friday that signs of partition are already evident in Libya and urged influential nations to pressure Libya’s rival leaders to urgently finalize the constitutional basis for elections.

The first anniversary of the vote’s postponement is coming up on December 25, said Abdoulaye Bathily in his briefing at the Security Council. He stressed that if there is no resolution, an alternative way should be found to hold elections.

Bathily told the UN Security Council that the continuing disagreement between the Speaker of Libya’s east-based House of Representatives, Aqila Saleh, and the Head of the High Council of State, Khalid Al-Mishri, who is based in the country’s west, on a limited number of provisions in the constitution “can no longer serve as a justification to hold an entire country hostage.”

If the two institutions can’t reach agreement swiftly, Bathily said, an alternative mechanism can and should be used to alleviate the sufferings caused by outdated and open-ended interim political arrangements.

Bathily also said the Security Council needs to think creatively about ways to ensure that free, fair, transparent and simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections are organized and held under a single, unified and neutral administration, and that those who wish to run as candidates resign from their current functions to create a level playing field.


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