The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily reiterated his call for the need to hold free and fair elections in Libya.
He encouraged all Libyan leaders to “agree on a solution based on a national compromise, and avoid escalatory action that would threaten Libya’s already fragile stability and unity.”
According to a statement published by UNSMIL on the 71st anniversary of Libya’s Independence Day, Bathily stressed that the UN “will spare no effort in working with all parties constructively, inclusively, and firmly to support Libyan leaders to prevent further division and avoid wasting more time.
“This year, however, Independence Day feels bittersweet, as it also marks the first anniversary of the postponement of general elections which were supposed to be held on 24 December 2021,” Bathily said.
“The patience of the Libyan people is running out. It is time to prioritize the needs of the nation and the public – including the 2.8 million Libyans who already registered to vote,” he added.
The UN Envoy stressed that the Libyan leaders must “map an end to the transitional period, bring the country to elections, and respect the people’s right to determine their future.”
Libya has been mired in conflict since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. Plagued by divisions between competing institutions in the east and west, Libya remains split between rival forces, with two opposing executives in place since February.
Presidential elections were supposed to be held last December. On 10 February 2022, the Libyan Parliament announced the unanimous appointment of Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister. But PM Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba stressed that he “will not step down from power until after a constitution is drawn up for the country, even if it takes 30 years.”