With just over 100 days until Libya’s historic elections, the UN envoy for the nation warned the Security Council on Friday that political leaders must band together to ensure the vote is free, fair, and inclusive.
Ambassadors were informed on developments by Ján Kubi, special representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24.
They were reached as part of a political road map that followed the unprecedented truce between Libya’s competing administrations in October 2020 and the formation of a Government of National Unity (GNU) earlier this year.
“Libya is at a crossroads where positive or negative outcomes are equally possible,” said Kubiš. “With the elections, there is an opportunity for Libya to move gradually and convincingly into a more stable, representative and civilian track.”
He said the House of Representatives had passed a presidential election bill, and that legislation for the parliamentary election was being prepared and may be examined and approved in the coming weeks.
The presidential election law was received by the High National Election Commission (HNEC), but another body, the High State Council, objected that it had been adopted without consultation.
The chairman of the HNEC has stated that once the laws are received, the commission will be ready to begin implementation and will do everything possible to achieve the deadline of December 24.
“Thus, it is for the High National Election Commission to establish a clear electoral calendar to lead the country to the elections, with support of the international community, for the efforts of the Government of National Unity, all the respective authorities and institutions to deliver as free and fair, inclusive and credible elections as possible under the demanding and challenging conditions and constraints,” said Kubiš.
“The international community could help create more conducive conditions for this by facilitating the start of a gradual withdrawal of foreign elements from Libya without delay.”
The UN ambassador also requested that countries and regional organisations offer electoral observers to help assure the process’ integrity and credibility, as well as the outcomes’ acceptance.
He also praised recent achievements, such as the updating of the voter registry and the establishment of a register for eligible voters living outside the nation.
More than 2.8 million Libyans have registered to vote so far, with women accounting for 40% of the total. In addition, more than half a million additional voters will be eligible to vote.
“Most of the newly registered are under 30, a clear testament to the young generation’s eagerness to take part in determining the fate of their country through a democratic process. The Libyan authorities and leaders must not let them down,” said Kubiš.
He emphasised that the international community must support positive advances in Libya and stand hard against attempts to derail the process.
“Not holding the elections could gravely deteriorate the situation in the country, could lead to division and conflict,” he warned.
“I urge the Libyan actors to join forces and ensure inclusive, free, fair parliamentary and presidential elections, which are to be seen as the essential step in further stabilizing and uniting Libya.”