US Urges Libyan Leaders to Finalize Elections Roadmap

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The United States urged Libya’s leaders to “act upon their promises and finalize a roadmap for elections,” according to a statement issued by the US Embassy on Thursday.

On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the statement said that “democracy puts government in the hands of the people, by voting, promoting transparency, or combatting corruption, citizens have an important role to play in strengthening democracy.”

“Nearly a year has passed since millions of Libyans registered to vote, and transition to a new era of peace, stability, and national unity. We urge Libya’s leaders to act upon their promises and finalize a roadmap for elections,” the statement noted.

Meanwhile, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf reiterated the United States’ concerns about the transfer of public funds to militias and armed groups.

She recently met with the Head of the Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Mnifi and Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor, Al-Siddiq Al-Kabir in Tunisia.

This came in a briefing provided by the US diplomat on her recent tour of the Middle East, which included Tunisia, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Iraq.

While in Tunisia, Leaf held discussions on Libya, stressing the urgent need for Libyan leaders to support a credible path to elections as soon as possible.

She affirmed the importance of “strengthening Libyan economic institutions for the transparent management of oil and gas revenues, for the benefit of all Libyans.”

Notably, the US Department of State’s annual Fiscal Report noted that the Government of National Unity (GNU) failed to publish an executive budget proposal, or any summary of an enacted budget within a reasonable period.

“Libya does not yet fully use internationally accepted accounting principles. The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence,” the report read.

“An end-of-year budget execution report was available online. Only limited information on debt obligations, including state-owned enterprise debt, was publicly available,” it added.

The report noted that Libya’s fiscal transparency would be improved by disclosing information on these debt obligations.

It urged for an executive budget proposal, and enacted budget to be published within a reasonable period. As well as the publishing of expenditures to support executive offices.