Points to the creation of a high-level panel and regrets the “great crisis of legitimacy” of political institutions
28 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The United Nations has announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at materializing the holding of presidential and legislative elections in Libya in 2023, in the midst of the serious political crisis in the country following the postponement of the presidential elections scheduled for December 2021.
The UN special envoy for Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, has indicated that he will create a high-level panel for Libya and has stressed that the Libyan political class “is going through a major crisis of legitimacy” given the lack of progress and the division of the country into two opposing administrations.
“One can say that most of the institutions lost their legitimacy years ago. Resolving this crisis of legitimacy must be a priority for all political actors who want to change the ‘status quo'”, he stated, before lamenting the lack of consensus on a constitutional basis for holding elections.
Bathily has stressed that holding these elections “requires a broad national consensus”, for which it is necessary “the participation of a wide range of actors, including national institutions, political figures, security actors, tribal forces and others”.
He also recalled that February 17 marked the 12th anniversary of the 2011 revolution, which resulted in the overthrow and execution of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, a date on which the population “renewed their demands for peace, stability long term and prosperity”.
“Despite this, the political process remains stalled and does not meet the aspirations of the Libyan people, who want to elect their leaders and invigorate their political institutions. In short, Libyans are impatient and question the will and desire of the interim actors to hold inclusive and transparent elections in 2023,” he explained.
Bathily recalled that the House of Representatives -the Parliament based in the east of the country- approved on February 8 a constitutional amendment to the Constitutional Declaration of 2011, although until now it has not been endorsed by the High Council of State, headquartered in the capital, Tripoli.
The UN envoy has noted that the amendment “is controversial for the Libyan political class and citizens in general” and has maintained that “it does not address problematic issues such as the criteria for the election of presidential candidates nor does it stipulate a ‘road map’ and time limits to materialize inclusive elections in 2023”.
For this reason, he has defended that his proposal “will unite all the relevant Libyan actors” and will allow “facilitating the adoption of a legal framework and a ‘road map’ with dates to hold elections in 2023.” Likewise, “it will be a platform to advance consensus around certain issues such as the security of the elections and the adoption of a code of conduct for all candidates.”
In another order of things, he has praised the “progress” in the application of the ceasefire by the Joint Military Commission, which works in a 5+5 format between the warring parties in the civil war between 2019 and 2021. “The stop the fire is still standing”, he stressed, before warning that, however, “the security situation continues to be fragile”.
Bathily has acknowledged progress in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, while noting that at the beginning of February there were meetings in Egypt in which an “integrated mechanism” was adopted to “facilitate the process of withdrawing mercenaries and foreign fighters “.
On the other hand, he has lamented the increasing restrictions on civic space in Libya and has expressed his alarm at “the wave of arrests of women activists accused of ‘offending Libyan traditions'” following the activation on February 17 of the Law on cybercrime.
“I reiterate my calls on the Libyan authorities to end the repression against civil society, protect and promote civic space and stop interfering in the work of civil society organizations,” the UN special envoy stressed. for Libya.
The political crisis in Libya worsened after the postponement of the elections scheduled for December 2021 and the decision of the House of Representatives to appoint Fazi Bashaga as prime minister by ending the term of the unity prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibé.
The unity government rejected the decision of the House of Representatives and maintained that Dbeibé will remain in office to implement his new ‘road map’ for holding elections. Dbeibé was elected as prime minister by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in February 2021, replacing the until then unity prime minister, Fayez Serraj.