UN envoy: Unwillingness to settle political differences impedes holding Libyan elections

The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily, told the Security Council in his briefing on Thursday that despite the finalization of the constitutional and legal framework for elections by the 6+6 Joint Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR) and High Council of State (HCS) in 2023 and their subsequent adoption by the HoR, key Libyan institutional stakeholders appear unwilling to resolve the outstanding politically contested issues that would clear the path to the long-awaited elections in Libya.

Bathily added that in his latest discussions with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aqila Saleh, he reiterated that the main issue on the agenda should be the formation of a unified government, as this would be the chief prerogative of the HoR as ”the sole legitimate authority” on the matter, and that he would only participate if either the two governments are included or excluded altogether.

Bathily said that the Head of the High Council of State, Mohammed Takala, maintained his rejection of the electoral laws as published by the HoR, demanding to revert to the draft agreed upon by the 6+6 Joint Committee in Bouznika.

“The discussion should focus on the revision of the electoral laws to reestablish what he calls the initial version of the text. While the Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah insisted that he would only step down after the holding of elections, meaning that the Government of National Unity that he chaired would supervise the coming electoral process.” Bathily explained.

He also said that the core objective of UNSMIL, as mandated by this Council, was to support Libyan actors to bring about stability through a peaceful political settlement.

“I, therefore, will not support any initiative that would bring conflict or trigger war leading to the loss of lives of Libyans.” He remarked, saying he had steadfastly expressed the UN’s readiness to consider suggestions and proposals that could lead to a solution based on a peaceful and inclusive settlement among the stakeholders.

Bathily urged all relevant Libyan entities to work together to achieve equitable, transparent and accountable management of Libya’s revenues and resources. He said that to avoid Libya sliding into disintegration as foreseen through numerous alarming signs, a political agreement was urgently needed among the major stakeholders to form a unified government that would lead the country to elections.


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