UN Adviser: Libyan Institutions Lack Legitimacy

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The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Libya, Stephanie Williams, said that all the current institutions in Libya lack popular legitimacy. She added that the only solution to this is through the ballot box. This is the overwhelming demand of the Libyan people.

In statements to the American weekly news magazine, Newsweek, Williams said that this issue was a Libyan one, one that ultimately required a Libyan solution. “The UN is not in the business of recognizing or endorsing governments.”

The UN Special Adviser noted, “such recognition is a sovereign matter decided upon by member states and in some instances, the UN Security Council.” She indicated the absence of elections, and that neither the Tripoli nor Tobruk administrations had a true mandate from a population longing to have its own voice heard. This is evidenced by the enthusiasm expressed by citizens to actually participate in choosing their next leader for the first time.

Williams stated, “all of the current institutions in Libya lack popular legitimacy. The only solution is through the ballot box, and this is the overwhelming demand of the Libyan people.”

She explained, “that is why nearly three million Libyans, out of an overall population of approximately seven million, registered to vote in addition to the fact that over five thousand candidates filed papers to run as candidates in the parliamentary elections, and almost one hundred Libyans filed to run for the presidential race.”

Williams stated that Fathi Bashagha was “a national figure and his achievements speak for themselves, including his service as Interior Minister in the previous government during which war was waged against the capital.”

The UN Adviser noted that she was offering to use her position to mediate the dispute between Bashagha and Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba in order to help usher in a new age of stable leadership that has eluded Libya since Gaddafi’s downfall.

She said, “I have offered the good offices of the UN to mediate a resolution to the crisis over control of the executive authority.” “I have also announced an initiative to convene a joint committee of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the High Council of State (HCS) to establish a sound constitutional basis in order to take the country to national elections as soon as possible.”

Williams emphasised that “national reconciliation and transitional justice are key goals along Libya’s pathway to recovery after more than a decade of division, conflict and chaos.”