UN Envoy: No One Should Be Excluded from Libyan Elections


The UN Envoy to Libya and the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily said that the conditions for running for President remain controversial.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath TV channel, Bathily added that UNSMIL believes that the elections “in order for them to be representative of the will of the Libyan people, they must not exclude anyone, in order to achieve stability.”

This came in his response to a question about the ongoing differences regarding the criteria for candidacy. As well as talk about seeking to set criteria to exclude certain candidates such as Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi.

“Yes, there are controversial issues, but they can be discussed openly, because Libya needs to unite all its sons and daughters as a beginning to achieve national reconciliation, and to achieve consensus on controversial issues. The page of wounds and hatred must be closed. A new page of reconciliation must be opened based on consensus on building the country with the participation of all citizens, and looking forward to a prosperous future for Libya,” Bathily said.

The UN Envoy expressed his hope that the elections would be held before the end of this year. “The conditions are favourable… It is time for the Libyan people to have legitimate institutions responsible to them after a period of transitional authorities. The people desire to have sustainable institutions that meet their needs, provide sound economic administration and necessary services, and bring about peace and security. If the intentions are good and there is a real commitment to the stability of Libya and the provision of the appropriate conditions, then the elections will take place.”

He pointed out that the elections “are not limited to laws or political agreements, and do not concern only the constitutional rule, but rather mean the involvement of the Libyan people and all relevant parties. That is why I said all stakeholders should be involved, including for example security leaders. The Joint Military Committee (5 + 5) put forward a proposal to involve military institutions and security leaders.”

Bathily noted that the security track “has gained a lot of momentum. Military and security leaders agreed on a code of honour to secure the electoral process, and this is an important step. Political leaders want elections to be held, and this applies to youth, women, and notables across Libya. There is a general desire of the people to hold elections.”

Regarding the talk about the desire of some to “obstruct the holding of elections,” he said: “I do not know what is going on in their minds, and the positions of the leaders will be recorded, whether they wish to respond to the Libyan people’s call for elections or not. It is important for Libyan leaders to respond and transcend personal and factional interests. And look at the future of Libya.”