Several Libyan political parties have raised concerns about the involvement of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in the nation’s electoral affairs.
These parties claim that the UNSMIL is obstructing the electoral process, and violating Libya’s sovereignty by interfering in the recently approved electoral laws. This has sparked a discussion on the UN’s role in Libya’s path towards democratic development, and political stability.
UNSMIL has reviewed the Libyan electoral laws, suggesting that the remaining issues need a political settlement through constructive dialogue and goodwill. However, Libyan parties perceive these actions, and the US-backed stance of the Mission as a hindrance to political solutions in Libya.
Disagreements arise from provisions like mandatory second rounds for Presidential elections, and connecting the outcomes of Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Also, the full inclusion of all Libyans, including women and various cultural groups, in a unified government to lead the country to elections is seen as a politicized issue, requiring national settlement.
A large number of Libyan parties rejected UNSMIL’s interventions, especially from its Head, Abdoulaye Bathily regarding the electoral laws finalized by the 6+6 Joint Committee and issued by Libyan Parliament. They believe that the Mission’s insistence on its approach can “disrupt the electoral pathway, prolong political deadlock, and position the UN as an obstacle to Libya’s political process.”
Dr. Aref Al-Nayed, the Head of the Ihya Libya (Reviving Libya), also expressed disappointment in many aspects of the Mission’s statement. He emphasized that “the issues that the Mission aims to discuss again, have already been settled in previous discussions, viewing further dialogues as unnecessary and as a violation of Libyan sovereignty.”
Notably, the Libyan National Assembly Parties Union has opposed the UNSMIL’s involvement in electoral laws, recently adopted by the Libyan Parliament.
The Union expressed its rejection of interventions by Bathily, concerning the election laws completed by the 6+6 Joint Committee.
It stressed that the UN’s input, and requested modifications to the constitutionally issued laws were an interference in Libyan affairs. As well as noting that the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) has accepted, and is prepared to work according to these laws.
The Union asserted that UNSMIL has “overstepped Libya’s sovereignty for a political solution, surpassing its mediation role. Furthermore, the approach insisted upon by the Mission could potentially hinder the electoral process, perpetuate political deadlock, and make UNSMIL an obstacle.”
Conclusively, the Union called on the Parliament, the High Council of State (HCS), and all political forces to ensure successful elections.