Libyan MP Accuses UN of Purposely Keeping Libya in Transitional Stages

Libyan MP Accuses UN of Purposely Keeping Libya in Transitional Stages
Libyan MP Accuses UN of Purposely Keeping Libya in Transitional Stages

On Saturday, a member of the Libyan Parliament, Jibril Awhaida said that the 13th constitutional amendment “blocks the way to the initiative announced by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily.”

In press statements, Awhaida stressed that “Bathily seeks to control national sovereignty so that Libya remains hostage to the transitional stages.”

He pointed out that Bathily’s initiative “comes within the framework of hijacking the Libyan-led solution and bypassing the powers of the country’s Parliament.”

The Libyan lawmaker emphasized that “drafting legislation for the electoral process falls within the competence of the parliament alone.”

In addition, he praised the High Council of State’s (HCS) decision to approve the 13th constitutional amendment, which “ is supposed to provide a basis for elections.”

Thursday’s vote approved a constitutional amendment that was issued last month by the Libyan Parliament and was presented as a step towards holding elections.

Last week, Bathily said he planned to set up a new steering panel to enable the holding of elections after the failure of Libyan political elites to agree on constitutional rules.

Libya has been locked in a political stalemate since late 2021, when the scheduled elections were canceled because of disputes over the rules and the eastern-based Parliament, withdrew support from the interim government.

Peacemaking efforts since then have focused on getting the Parliament and the HCS to agree on a constitutional basis for elections and voting rules.

Bathily cited the 2015 Libyan Political Agreement, to say he was setting up a steering committee of major Libyan figures to adopt a time-bound roadmap to elections.

In remarks that appeared aimed at both Parliament, which was elected in 2014, and the HCS, which emerged from a chamber elected in 2012, he said that “most institutions lost their legitimacy years ago”.

Speaking before it was approved, Bathily also described the amendment as “controversial within the Libyan political class and general citizenry”, noting it did not address contentious issues such as candidate eligibility or create a clear timeline for elections.

Many Libyans have grown sceptical that their political leaders are negotiating in good faith, saying their true goal is to delay any election that could cost them positions of power and privilege.