On Saturday, the Speaker of Libya’s House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, emphasised the necessity of forming a unified government in the country. This government’s primary task should be to oversee upcoming elections, according to statements made during his meeting with United Nations (UN) Special Envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily.
The meeting was convened at Saleh’s office in the city of Qubba, where the two officials discussed the current political climate in Libya.
The talks particularly focused on the efforts underway to hold presidential and parliamentary elections. The committee, known as the 6+6 Joint Committee, that has been established to prepare electoral laws, was also discussed. Bathily underlined the importance of concerted efforts and increased consultations to fulfill electoral requirements, echoing the wishes of the Libyan populace.
Last Thursday, the United States (US) and France publicly voiced their support for Bathily’s ongoing mediation, urging the establishment of a technocratic unified government to facilitate forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. This international backing was confirmed during a meeting that involved Richard Norland, the Special Envoy to Libya from the United States, and Paul Soler, France’s Special Envoy to Libya.
During a briefing to the UN Security Council last week, the UN Envoy emphasised the urgent need for a consensual, unified government. He argued that completing the legal framework for elections is indispensable for fulfilling the Libyan people’s desire for legitimate governance, sustainable stability, and enduring peace.
Libya is currently divided between two main rival administrations: the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) in the West, and the Parliament-designated government in the East.Various foreign powers have also intervened, backing different sides in the conflict. The situation is further complicated by the presence of numerous militias and extremist groups. This mosaic of internal and external forces has made it extremely difficult to navigate a path toward peace and stability.
The United States has had a complex relationship with Libya since the fall of Gaddafi. Initially involved in the NATO-led intervention that led to Gaddafi’s ousting, the US has since taken a more diplomatic role, aiming to negotiate peace between rival factions. Various US administrations have supported UN-led initiatives to form a national government and hold elections, recognising that a democratic process is key to resolving the ongoing crisis.